News Release

September 19, 2014      

For Further Information Contact:
John Mouris, DCDPW - Airport Division
(845) 463-6000
E-mail: jmouris@dutchessny.gov

Dutchess County Airport to Host Wings of Freedom Tour
Rare WWII Aircraft on Display Sept 29 – Oct 1

Poughkeepsie...The Dutchess County Airport will host the Collings Foundation’s WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR September 29th to October 1st.   The tour features rare treasures of aviation history: the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber and P-51 Mustang 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.    This is a unique opportunity to explore these aircrafts inside and out.

“We are very excited to have Dutchess County Airport chosen to host this very special tour. The WINGS OF FREEDOM tour is a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn about an important part of our World War II history in an up-close setting,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

Up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft will be available. 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:

Monday, September 29 from 12pm to 5pm
Tuesday, September 30th from 9am to 5pm
Wednesday, October 1st from 9am to 12pm

Visitors can also experience a 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 $450 per person. 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 Collings Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing “living history” events that allows people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The Nationwide WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR is celebrating its 25th year and visits an average of 110 cities in over 35 states annually. This will be first time the tour has come to the Dutchess County Airport.

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. 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.

For further information e-mail Hunter Chaney, Director of Marketing: hchaney@collingsfoundation.org or 800-568-8924.

Click here to see the event flyer: http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/Airport/dcairport_event_sept2014.pdf

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    Last Updated: 9/19/2014