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Poughkeepsie…The Collings Foundation’s popular Wings of Freedom Tour returns to the Hudson Valley Regional Airport for the fourth year in a row on Wednesday, October 4th through Friday, October 6th. The tour features rare treasures of aviation history, including the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” World War II Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber, North American B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo,” and WWII P-51D Mustang dual-control fighter. The B-17 is one of only eight in flying condition in the United States, and the B-24J and Full Dual Control P-51D Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the world.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “It is an unexpected treat to welcome the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour back to the Hudson Valley Regional Airport. The great response they always get here brings them back to Dutchess County even though they rarely return to an airport for more than two years in a row.”
Visitors to the airport will be provided a unique and rare opportunity to explore these aircrafts inside and out. Tour prices are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. 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:
Wednesday, October 4 from 2pm to 4:30pm
Thursday, October 5 from 9am to 4:30pm
Friday, October 6 from 9am to 12pm
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. Flights on the B-25 are $400 per person. P-51D 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 28th year and visits an average of 110 cities in over 35 states annually.
The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the nation as a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew these aircrafts, 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-25 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. One of America’s most famous medium bombers, the B-25, was known for its adaptability and reliability under any combat circumstance, including as a ground attack aircraft and low-level bomber. The B-25 is most notable for the Doolittle Raid on Japan, the first American attack made on the Japanese mainland after the attack on Pearl Harbor. 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, B-25 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. 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 http://www.collingsfoundation.org/.
For further information, e-mail Hunter Chaney, Director of Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-568-8924.