Classic World War II planes on display in OC

SANTA ANA, Calif. Organized by the Collings Foundation, the "Wings Of Freedom Tour" has been offering the general public aircraft tours along with flights on famous World War II-era heavy bombers and "stick time" in a P-51 Mustang long-range fighter plane.

The WWII-era aircraft participating in the "Wings Of Freedom Tour" include the "Nine O Nine" Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber, the "Witchcraft" Consolidated B-24J Liberator Heavy Bomber, and the dual-control "Betty Jane" North American Aviation P-51C Mustang-a model known during the war as "the world's greatest fighter."

A donation of $6 for adults and $3 donation for children under age 12 was requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. Visitors also experienced 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 were $425 per person. P-51 flights were $2,200 for a half- hour and $3,200 for a full hour. In addition to "Wings of Freedom" walk-through tour donations, standard LAM entrance fees were required The "Wings of Freedom Tour" arrived at John Wayne-Orange County Airport on April 30 and was on display at LAM until the aircraft departed May 3 at 12 p.m.

The Collings Foundation, based in Stow, Mass., is a non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing "living history" events that allow people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The nationwide "Wings of Freedom Tour" is in its 21st year and visits an average of 110 cities in more than 35 states annually. Since its start, tens of millions of people have seen the B-17, B-24 and P-51 exhibit at locations throughout the country.

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