Something most people will never see again came Monday at around 11:30 a.m., when World War II planes flew over South Mississippi and landed at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.
The planes flying in on The Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour are:
▪ A WWII Vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” is one of only eight in flying condition in the United States .
▪ Consolidated B-24 Liberator is the last remaining example of its type flying in the world.
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▪ North American B-25 Mitchell is best known for being used in the daring Doolittle raid.
▪ P-51 Mustang “Toulouse Nuts” fighter that recently won the 2016 Oshkosh Grand Champion Award for restoration.
The Wings of Freedom tour is 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 families that share the freedom that they helped preserve. At each location, veterans and their families are invited to share their experiences and stories with the public.
The visit to Gulfport is one stop on a 110-city tour of the country. Visitors can explore the aircraft inside and out at the Million Air, 1100 Hangar St., Gulfport, off U.S. 49. Hours of ground tours and displays are from noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday.
The cost is $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Discounted rates are offered for school groups.
Visitors also can ride in the planes. A 30-minute flight aboard the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. B-25 flights are $400 per person. These flights are typically scheduled before and after the ground tours.
For the ultimate adventure, get some “stick time” in the world’s greatest fighter. P-51 flight training is $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for an hour.
For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924.