Wings of Freedom Tour - March 31 - April 3, 2017
Join us at the 2017 Wings of Freedom Tour March 31-April 2 hosted by Valair Aviation at Wiley Post Airport. The tour is open to the public and will showcase vintage aircraft including a WWII Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a Consolidated B-24 Liberator, a B-25 Mitchell and a North American P-51 Mustang.
Over Sixty years ago they flew from bases far from home, over occupied and enemy territory in an attempt to weaken the forces of evil so that freedom could once again return to the people who it was stolen from. Their endurance was tested on "Nine 0 Nine" missions of ten or more hours, day after day; their strength was proven as they returned countless crews safely back to their bases. Crews counted on them and a bond was made between man and machine.
Now they fly on missions that are quite different than those of so long ago. Their mission for today is to educate the world about our courageous World War II veterans and to remember those who have left us. These aircraft stand as tributes to their crews and fly on as living history to enlighten future generations. The Wings of Freedom Tour 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 and 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-25 and P-51 and their importance to telling the story of WWII is why the Collings Foundation continues to fly and display the aircraft nationwide. The Collings Foundation of Stow, Massachusetts manages these living-history events enabling Americans to learn more about their heritage through direct participation. The Wings of Freedom Tour offers the public a rare opportunity to explore and learn about last-of-its-kind aircraft.
Visitors of the tour will be able to explore the aircraft inside and out as well as take a once-in-a-lifetime, 30-minute flight aboard one of the rare aircraft.
To learn more about these exquisite aircrafts and the Collings Foundation, visit www.collingsfoundation.org.