B-17, B-24, P-51 in formation (photo courtesy of The Collings Foundation)
The Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour is flying into northwest Indiana today, for its only stop in the Region this year. At about 1-o'clock you'll start hearing the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, and the North American P-51 Mustang... three of America's most famous World War Two aircraft... make their way to Porter County Regional Airport, where they'll be open for tours til noon Wednesday when they leave for Terre Haute. There's no stop in Griffith this particular year. Mike Prentiss, Valparaiso Stop Coordinator, says of the 110 stops they make each year, the Valparaiso one is very special for tour founder Bob Collings, as Collings is a 1956 graduate of Valparaiso High School, and his wife Caroline graduated from Valparaiso University.
Prentiss says new this year will be a display of World-War-era automobiles.
Walk thru tours are 12-dollars for adults, six for children twelve and under, and World War Two veterans get in free. Flights and stick-time are also available, for details check with the foundation. Experimental Aircraft Association 104, northwest indiana's chapter, will be selling food and beverages as a fundraiser.
Here's more info from Prentiss submitted to our website on this year's Valpo stop:
Who: The Collings Foundation, a 501c3 Non-Profit Educational Foundation based in Stow, MA. http://www.cfdn.org/
What: The Wings of Freedom Tour featuring the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang, three of America’s most famous WWII aircraft.
When: July 30-August 1. 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM July 30; 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM July 31; and 9:00AM to 12:00 PM August 1. The planes will be landing at approximately 1:30PM.
Where: Porter County Regional Airport, 4207 Murvihill Road, Valparaiso, IN.
Why: To honor the veterans of WWII, to educate the nation about the history and impact WWII had on our country, and to assure that the memory of those who gave their life for their country will never be forgotten. Northwest Indiana WWII Veterans are encouraged to attend and share their stories with visitors.
How: All three aircraft are available for walkthrough tours for $12 for Adults and $6 for Children 12 and under. Flights are available aboard the aircraft for a tax-deductible donation. B-17 and B-24 flights are $425 per person for a half hour. "Stick-time" aboard the P-51 is $2200 for a half hour and $3200 for a full hour. Pilot’s license not required. For more information or to schedule a ride call 800-568-8924
Food & Beverages will be available from EAA 104 and WWII-era automobiles will be on display.
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Consolidated B-24 Liberator (current "Witchcraft" paint scheme)
North American P-51 Mustang
[all photos courtesy of The Collings Foundation]