Wings of Freedom Tour

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A friend found this advertisement in the newspaper, which, in and of itself, tests the limits of probability.  Who reads papers?

Wings of freeedom

In any case, he did, and we set off for a morning at the airport to experience several World War II airplanes more directly than the confines of a museum or the virtual recreations possible in video games or movies.

Included were the planes pictured, presented by Collings Foundation, which also has other interests.  At $12 per person, they can’t afford their fuel.  Which is why they also sell rides at a heftier price.

We arrived to find the bombers taking off, which begged the question of the timing of their return.  They did, after their “morning flight.”  I guess they dry out of old age if you don’t pump liquids through them.

This particular B-17, one of 10 still flying, did not actually see combat action but served as a sea rescue plane.  Still, it’s been restored. 

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Hmm.  The windshield looks like it drove up from Florida during love bug mating season...

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Hello, Windex.  Wow, that’s better.

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One of a number of interesting observations is exactly how much of a shell these planes are.  The metal isn’t thick, and I have to wonder if it would give way to a .22 rifle.  Or pistol.

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The B-24 Liberator was used in combat by the Royal Air Force, left in India after the war, and was eventually restored and decorated with the markings of a famous plane which never lost a crew member in 130 missions.

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These might be fun to shoot...

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The ball turret might be fun, too...

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...except that you have to get into it through here.  For scale, note the 0.50 cal waist gun positions on either side.

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The P-51 was there to be looked at, except for the few who might purchase a flight ($3,200).  Also, if that’s too expensive, you can go out and buy one.  I didn’t learn the history on this particular plane, but the absence of guns suggests it might have been a trainer.

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Holding the camera above my head and hoping for the best revealed the cockpit.

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We spent about 2 hours looking at the planes.  Pilot areas were obviously off-limits as these are still flown, but otherwise access throughout the planes was pretty liberal.

I took lots of pictures, which can be viewed HERE.

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No paparazzi!

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1 comment :

  1. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. I need to improve upon my picture taking techniques. Nice shots all around!

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