Four vintage World War II aircraft will visit Burlington from Oct. 22 to 24 when the Wings of Freedom tour returns to the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport.
Three bombers, the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine,” the Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” the B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo,” and a fighter, P-51 Mustang “Toulouse Nuts,” will fly in at noon Oct. 22. They will be on display at the main ramp, 3441 N. Aviation Drive, until they depart late in the afternoon Oct. 24.
Visitors can explore the aircraft inside and out. For adults, $15 is requested, and $5 for children younger than 12. Discount rates are available for school groups.
Visitors also can fly aboard the aircraft. Thirty-minute flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. B-25 flights are $400 per person. P-51 flights include “stick time” and are $2,200 for 30 minutes and $3,200 for an hour.
The fees help defray maintenance and operating costs, which exceed $4,000 per operating hour per plane. The aircraft are maintained to the highest standards and flown by highly experienced pilots.
Tours run from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 23, and 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 24. Flights are normally scheduled before and after those times.
For more information and reservations, call 800-568-8924.
The Wings of Freedom Tour is run by The Collings Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit that organizes “living history” events to help people learn about their heritage through direct participation. Burlington is among an average 110 cities on the annual national tour. For more information, visit www.collingsfoundation.org.
The B-17 and B-24 were the backbone of the American war effort from 1942 to 1945, and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. Despite anti-aircraft fire, enemy fighters and sub-zero temperatures, many B-17s and B-24s safely brought their crews home. Meanwhile the P-51 saved countless crews from attacking enemy fighters.
After the war, many aircraft were scrapped for aluminum to rebuild a booming post-war nation. Very few were spared.