The Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom tour is scheduled to stop at Salina Municipal Airport (SLN) in Kansas July 12-14 with World War II aircraft, including the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine,” Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” and P-51 Mustang.
Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out. A $12 donation for adults and $6 donation for children under 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. Veterans of World War II are not required to donate. Veterans formerly stationed at Smoky Hill Army Airfield, Camp Phillips and Schilling Air Force Base are invited to take advantage of a complimentary VIP room and sign up to receive special information about the upcoming Wings Over Salina Air Museum.
The Collings Foundation is a 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 is in its 20th year and 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.
Visitors may also experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flight experiences are a tax-deductible donation. 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.
Hours of ground tours and display are: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, July 12; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, July 14. The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tours.
For more information: CollingsFoundation.org.