Experience one of the most memorable history lessons Tuesday, April 28, when legendary World War II aircraft take to the skies and local veterans tell their heroic stories.
The Collings Foundation brings "Wings of Freedom" to San Diego as part of 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.
On display will be a vintage Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress", Consolidated B-24 Liberator and a North American P-51 Mustang. The B-17 is one of only nine in flying condition in the U.S., the B-24 and P-51C Mustang are the only remaining planes of their type flying--in the world.
"The reason we are free today, in large part, has to do with the role that both of these airplanes and the fighter plane provided during the war, " said Allan Riker, the San Diego tour coordinator for the Collings Foundation. "Many people we talk to have no conception of the aircraft or what it took to preserve freedom in those days, and we try to educate as much as we can the sacrifices of our people that kept us free."
Visitors can explore the aircraft inside and out - $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. Visitors may also experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $425 per person. You can also 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. Gillespie Field Airport in San Diego is located at 1960 Joe Crosson Drive, El Cajon.