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“Wings of Freedom” to Soar Over Salina

Todd PittengerJuly 1, 2018

Vintage military aircraft will soar over Salina, and be on display at the Salina Regional Airport, when the “Wings of Freedom” tour lands.

According to the airport a B-17 Flying Fortress named “Nine O Nine,” aaConsolidated B-24 Liberator named “Witchcraft,” a B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo” bomber, and a P-51 Mustang fighter named “Toulouse Nuts” will fly to Salina for a visit from July 16th to 18th.

The Salina Airport formerly served as the Smoky Hill Army Air Corps Base from 1942-1948. This is a rare opportunity to visit, explore, and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history.

The B-17 is one of only 9 in flying condition in the United States. The B-24J is the sole remaining example of its type flying in the World. The B-25 is best known for being used in the daring Doolittle raid. The P-51 Mustang was awarded the prestigious Grand Champion award for restoration.

Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out.

A donation of $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. Discounted rates for school groups.

Visitors may also experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. Get some “stick time” in the world’s greatest fighter. P-51 flight training is $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. B-25 flights are $400 per person.
For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924.

The Wings of Freedom Tour will be on display at the Salina Regional Airport, located at Hangar 606, 2630 Arnold Court. Hangar 606 was built in 1942 and recently received a $2.5 million renovation.

The aircraft will arrive at the Salina Regional Airport at 2:00 PM on July 16th and will be on display until the aircraft departs after operations on July 18th.

Hours of ground tours and display are: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Monday, July 16th; 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Tuesday, July 17th and 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Wednesday, July 18th. The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times.

“Wings of Freedom” is a part of the Collings Foundation. It 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 tour is celebrating its 29th 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. It one of the most extraordinary and unique interactive traveling historical displays of its kind.

“Wings of Freedom” travels the nation as 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-25 & 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-25, 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 they 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! Visitors can find out more by visiting our website at www.collingsfoundation.org.

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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