The Wings of Freedom Tour will bring World War II vintage airplanes to Sikorsky Memorial Airport from Monday, Sept. 30 to Wednesday, Oct. 2.
A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang will be at the airport in Stratford.
The rare bomber and fighter aircraft will be on display at the local venue as part of 110-city nationwide tour by the nonprofit Collings Foundation that is designed to honor World War veterans.
Visit, explore and learn
This is an opportunity to visit, explore, and learn more about these unique treasures of aviation history. The B-17 is one of only eight 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.
Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out. A donation of $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. WWII veterans can tour through the aircraft at no cost. Discounted rates are available for school groups.
Flights are available, too
People also may 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. 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.
When to visit
Hours of ground tours and display are:
— Monday, Sept. 30 from noon-5 p.m.
— Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
— Wednesday, Oct. 2 from 9 a.m.-noon
The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times above.
Were backbone of WWII effort
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 they helped preserve.
The B-17 and B-24 were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942-45 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. The P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers’ “Little Friend” — saving countless crews from attacking enemy fighters.
After the war, many of these aircraft were scrapped for their raw aluminum to rebuild a nation in post-war prosperity and therefore few were spared.
About the Collings Foundation
The Collings Foundation is a nonprofit 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 Tour is in its 24th year.
Find out more by going to www.collingsfoundation.org.