by A. Greene
In honor of WWII vets, the Collings Foundation’s "Wings of Freedom Tour" is bringing three rare bomber and fighter aircraft to the Marana Regional Airport, 11700 W. Avra Valley Rd., from April 15 to 18 as part of a 110-city nationwide tour.
The three planes the Collings Foundation will be showcasing are the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber and the P-51 Mustang.
Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out. Admission to up-close viewing of the aircraft is $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. WWII veterans may tour the craft at no cost.
Visitors may also take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $425 per person. P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information call 800-568-8924.
The Wings of Freedom Tour will arrive at the Marana Regional Airport at 2 p.m. on April 15. Ground tours and display will happen from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday.
For more information, visit the Collings Foundation website.
Per a press release:
About the Collings Foundation:
The Collings Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing “living history” events that allows people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The Nationwide WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR is in its 22nd year and visits an average of 110 cities in over 35 states annually. Since its start, tens of millions of people have seen the B-17, B-24 & P-51 display at locations everywhere. The WINGS OF FREEDOM tour is one of the most extraordinary and unique interactive traveling historical displays of its kind.
About the tour:
The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the nation a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect; and the citizens and families that share the freedom that they helped preserve. The B-17 & B-24 were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942 to 1945 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. Despite the risks of anti-aircraft fire, attacking enemy fighters, and the harrowing environment of sub-zero temperatures, many B-17s and B-24s safely brought their crews home. The P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers “Little Friend” — saving countless crews from attacking axis fighters. After the war, many aircraft were scrapped for their raw aluminum to rebuild a nation in post-war prosperity and therefore very few were spared. The rarity of the B-17, B-24 & P-51 - and their importance to telling the story of WWII is why the Collings Foundation continues to fly and display the aircraft nationwide. At each location we encourage local veterans and their families to visit and share their experiences and stories with the public. For aviation enthusiasts, the tour provides opportunity for the museum to come to the visitor and not the other way around!