A flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained the, workers who built them and all the soldiers, sailors and airmen that helped protect our nation in WWII is on display in Nebraska. The Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour features for vintage bombers and fighters from that era.
Volunteer Coordinator Michael Dober says, “We have a B-24 Liberator. it is the last of its type flying in the world. A B-17 fully restored, both of the, a B-25 and this year we have an new P-51 Mustang D model with the bubble canopy.” That plane was just awarded Grand Champion for restoration at the EAA Oshkosh AirVenture.
The B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine-O-Nine” is one of only eight in flying condition in the U.S. The B-24J is the sole remaining example of its type flying. The B-25 is best know for being used in the daring Doolittle raid and all are mission ready in case they are needed for duty.
Visitors can explore both outside and inside the aircraft. Ground tours are available for a small fee as well as flights. A 30 minute flight in the B-17 or B-24 is $450 per person. B-25 flights are $400 per person and the P-51 Mustang is $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour but you do get some stick time to actually fly the plane. The Collings Foundation is a non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing these living history events . Those fees help maintain these planes for future generations.
The Wings of Freedom Tour is currently at the Columbus Airport through the morning hours of July 21st. The planes then fly into TAC Air and will be on display Friday afternoon through Sunday at 5 p.m. TAC Air is located directly east of Eppley Airfield at 3737 Orville Plaza.