Wings of Freedom Tour 2014
Each year in the Spring, the Collings Foundation take their Wings of Freedom Tour through Florida with their Boeing B–17 Fortress, Consolidated B–24 Liberator and two-seater North American TP–51C Mustang fighter. Their North American B–25 Mitchell also joins the tour at selected venues though in 2014 it will not be visiting Florida.
They fly into a number of regional airports and at most venues you can take a ‘walk through’ tour of one of the bombers for $12 for adults and $6 for children.
You can also get some idea of what it was like to fly in these amazing aircraft on a 30 minute ‘air experience’ flight. Prices range from $450 for the B–17 and B–24.
A minimum of six passengers is required for each flight (four for the B–25) and it is recommended you wear foam ear-plugs as inside the aircraft can be very noisy! It can also be quite draughty so a sweatshirt is also useful.
For the TP–51C, prices range from $2,200 to $3,200 for a half hour or one hour flight respectively.
Wings of Freedom 2014 Tour Schedule (Florida Locations)
For the 2014 tour, the B–17, B–24 and TP–51C will take part in the Florida portion of the tour.
Provisional tour schedule/locations for 2014 are:
|January 17 to 19, 2014||Leesburg International Airport [General Aviation Ramp]|
|January 20 to 22, 2014||Winter Haven’s Gilbert Airport [Main Ramp]|
|January 22 to 24, 2014||To be decided|
|January 24 to 26, 2014||Venice Municipal Airport [Sun Coast Air Center]|
|January 27 to 29, 2014||To be decided|
|January 29 to 31, 2014||To be decided|
|January 31 to February 2, 2014||Fort Myers Page Field Airport [West Ramp]|
|February 3 to 5, 2014||To be decided|
|February 5 to 7, 2014||Miami Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport [Wings Over Miami Museum]|
|February 7 to 9, 2014||Fort Lauderdale Executive [Hangar 63]|
|February 10 to 12, 2014||To be decided|
|February 12 to 16, 2014||Boca Raton Airport [Signature Flight Support]|
The aircraft then continue their tour into other Southern states.
History of the Collings Foundation
The Collings Foundation is a non-profit, Educational Foundation (501c–3) and was founded in 1979.
It provides “living history” events to allow visitors to learn more about their heritage and in recent times has focussed more on the Second World War, Korean War and the Vietnam War and in particular on aircraft of those eras.
In total the Collings Foundation has around 20 aircraft in flying condition and some of them take part in the Wings of Freedom Tour.
Though the Collings Foundation is based in Stow, Massachusetts, quite a few of the collection spend time at their maintenance facilities at New Smyrna Beach, Florida.