Poughkeepsie… The Collings Foundation’s WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR returns to the Dutchess County Airport onFriday, August 21st through Sunday, August 23rd. The tour features rare treasures of aviation history including the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber and WWII P-51C Mustang dual-control fighter. The B-17 is one of only 8 in flying condition in the United States and the B-24J and Full Dual Control P-51C Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the world.
“We are thrilled to welcome back the WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR to our own Dutchess County Airport! Last year, thousands of visitors came to the airport to catch a remarkable glimpse of living history and learn about the importance of these WWII aircraft. We look forward to once again hosting this very special tour,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
Visitors to the airport will be provided a unique and rare opportunity to explore these aircrafts inside and out. Tour prices are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. WWII Veterans can tour through the aircraft at no cost. Discounted rates are also available for school groups. The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR hours are as follows:
Friday, August 21 from 2pm to 5pm
Saturday, August 22 from 9am to 5pm
Sunday, August 23 from 9am to 5pm
Visitors can also take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by taking a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. P-51C flight training is available for $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information on flight experiences, call 800-568-8924.
The Collings Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing and supporting “living history” events that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The nationwide WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR is celebrating its 26th year and has made more than 2,900 visits to airports across the country.
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-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. The tour allows for local veterans and their families to visit and share their experiences and stories with the public, particularly younger Americans. For aviation enthusiasts, the tour provides an opportunity for the museum to come to the visitor and not the other way around! Visitors can find out more by visiting the Collings Foundation website at www.collingsfoundation.org.