Wings of Freedom brings past to Salina
Salina Municipal Airport, 2720 Arnold Ct
A sight seldom seen since the 1940's, the Wings of Freedom tour is scheduled to stop Salina with circa WWII aircraft including the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Nine O Nine" Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator "Witchcraft" Heavy Bomber and P-51 Mustang, July 11 to 13.
The Wings of Freedom Tour is scheduled to arrive at the Salina Municipal Airport at 12 p.m. on July 11 and will be on display at the Salina Municipal Airport's Hangar 600 (2720 Arnold Ct.) until the aircraft depart July 13 at 12 p.m.
Hours of ground tours and display are 12 p.m. through 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11; 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 12; 9 a.m. through 12 p.m. on Friday, July 13. The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times above.
WWII Veterans can tour through the aircraft at no cost. 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 $425 per person. Get some "stick time" in the world's greatest fighter! P-51 flights are $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 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 Collings Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing "living history" events that allow people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The Nationwide Wings of Freedom visits an average of 110 cities in more than 35 states annually.
The B-17 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-24 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. 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!
Visitors can find out more by visiting the Collings Foundation website at www.collingsfoundation.org.