WEST BAY — Military aircraft from World War II will be on display at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport at month's end as part of a national Wings of Freedom tour.
A B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine," B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” B-25 Mitchell "Tondelayo" bombers and P-51 Mustang "Toulouse Nuts" fighter will fly to the airport, 6300 W. Bay Parkway, and remain on display Feb. 28 to March 2.
“This is a rare opportunity to visit, explore and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history," a press release from host The Collings Foundation. "The B-17 is one of only 9 in flying condition in the United States. The B-24 Liberator is the sole remaining example of its type flying in the world. The B-25 is best known for being used in the daring Doolittle raid and the P-51 ‘Toulouse Nuts’ fighter recently received the prestigious Oshkosh Grand Champion Award for restoration.”
Visitors can explore the aircraft “inside and out” at $15 for adults, $5 for kids and discounted rates for school groups. The tour will arrive at 2 p.m. Feb. 28 and be displayed until noon March 2. Ground tours and displays will be 2-4:30 p.m. Feb. 28, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 1 and 9:30 a.m. to noon March 2.
“Visitors may also experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person,” the press release stated. “P-51 flight training is $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. B-25 flights are $400 per person. For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924.”