Wings of Freedom Tour Continues This Weekend

World War II veterans get free admission to view the bomber planes.

The Wings of Freedom tour wraps up at Rextrix Aviation at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Friday where folks can tour a B-17 Flying Fortress, B-34 Liberator or the dual control P-51C Mustang.

Walkthrough tours cost $12 for adults; $6 for children 12 and under. World War II veterans get free admission. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon on Friday at the SRQ Airport. The tour will also stop at the Venice Municipal Airport's Sun Coast Air Center Friday 2 to 4 p.m. and then 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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And if you're daring, and have the cash, for $425, you can have a 30-minute flight experience on the B-17 and B-24. P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. 

Here's what you need to know about the planes from the Wings of Freedom Tour:

"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 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."

The non-profit Collings Foundation operates the tour, which also means the flight experience are a tax-deductible donation. Reservations for the flight experiences are required by calling 1-800-568-8924.

For more information, visit www.cfdn.org.


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