Wings Of Freedom Tour Is Making A Stop At Palm Beach International Airport Next Week
A few new airplanes will be flying into Palm Beach International Airport next week.
Wait, did we say new? We mean old. Really old.
A national tour of extremely rare WWII-era bomber and fighter planes will be making a pit stop in West Palm Beach as part of the "Wings of Freedom Tour" from Monday, Jan. 25 to Thursday, Jan. 28.
Restored to their original 1940s configuration, the aircrafts include the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber, and P-51 Mustang fighter.
Those who want the chance to experience a piece of "living history" through the exhibit can head to PBI Airport for an up-close look inside and outside of the aircraft. Tours cost $12 per adult or $6 per child under 12.
WWII veterans can tour for free.
The Collings Foundation, the educational nonprofit behind the exhibit, has flown and displayed these aircraft nationally for the past 27 years because of both their rarity and importance in telling the story of WWII.
The B-17 aircraft is one of only eight of its kind still in flying condition in the world. Meanwhile, the B-24 and P-51 are the only remaining planes of their type. So few remain because, after WWII, many planes were scrapped for their raw aluminum with the aim of raising money to rebuild the country.
The 110-city nationwide tour is considered a flying tribute to all those who worked on and benefited from these planes: the flight crews, the ground crews, the workers who built them, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and the citizens whose freedom they helped preserve.
For a true once-in-a-lifetime experience, a select few can take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare bomber planes. It's $450 per person for a half-hour ride on the B-17 or B-24—planes considered the backbone of the American war effort—and $2,200 per half-hour or $3,200 per hour for flights on the P-51, which saved crews from attacking Axis fighters during the war.
The planes will be on display at NetJets at the airport. The aircraft will be available for ground tours from noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Jan. 28.
To reserve a flight experience, call 800.568.8924.
NetJets at Palm Beach International Airport; 985 Morrison Field Road, West Palm Beach
(Photos courtesy The Collings Foundation)