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Wings of Freedom Tour has a Layover in Marana, Arizona

The tour features flight experiences and showcases five fully restored WWII-era planes.

The Wings of Freedom Tour will make a stopover Friday, March 29; Saturday, March 30; and Sunday, March 31, and you won’t want to miss the incredible aircraft and flying experiences they’re bringing to the Marana Regional Airport. 

During World War II and the Korean War, Army Air Force pilots practiced their take-offs and landings at a number of airfields across this region, including what is today the Marana Regional Airport. Visitors to the Marana Regional Airport can experience that history once more.  

Take a Flight!

Exciting flight experiences on the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, and B-25 Mitchell are available at this tour location. Flight training (no experience necessary) on the P-51 Mustang and P-40 Warhawk is also available to actually take the controls and fly the famous fighters of WWII with an experienced instructor for either 30 minutes or 60 minutes! Book your Marana historic flight experience now by visiting the Collings Foundation website.

Fully Restored WWII-Era Planes

The Wings of Freedom Tour will showcase five fully restored WWII-era planes. The B-24 Liberator and the B-17 Flying Fortress both played major roles in the skies over Europe and the Pacific. The B-24 pioneered an innovative wing structure that allowed the plane to travel faster and higher than earlier aircraft. As a result, it was the first military plane to routinely cross the Atlantic Ocean.

The B-17, developed around the same time as the B-24, enjoyed similar strengths, with one notable advantage. This rugged plane could endure extensive damage and still deliver its crew safely home. In one famous incident, a B-17 flying over Tunisia almost had its tail severed off after a mid-air collision. Nevertheless, it returned its crew back to their base in Algeria. 

airshow marana az

P-51C Mustang

Recently, Wings of Freedom has added a new plane to its traveling fleet.  A fully restored P-51C Mustang dual-control aircraft will now accompany the Liberator and the Flying Fortress.  Over Europe during WWII, the Mustang could cruise at upwards of 15,000 feet, allowing these planes to evade the high-flying aircraft of the German Luftwaffe.  Though most Mustangs from WWII could accommodate only a single pilot, this particular plane had room for one additional person.  This capacity allowed greater flexibility for both training purposes and VIP transport. 

The traveling Wings of Freedom Tour has two primary objectives as it crisscrosses the United States.  First, it seeks to honor the sacrifices made by veterans.  As part of this effort, all WWII vets will receive free admission to this event.  Second, Wings of Freedom aims to teach Americans about their national history and heritage.  The Collings Foundation, which runs the tour, encourages visitors to see the planes up close, talk to the veterans who flew them, and even participate in a flight experience.  That’s right.  Not only can you see these planes up close, but you can even fly in them. 

B-25 Mitchell

The B-25 Mitchell, was made most famous for the Doolittle Raid on Japan, the first American attack made on the Japanese mainland after the attack on Pearl Harbor. This famous raid saw sixteen B-25s take off from the aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet on a daring mission that brought morale back to America in a time of war. The B-25 was never conceived to fly off of an aircraft carrier, but it adapted… that’s what the B-25 was known for, adaptability under any combat circumstance.

Employed as a bomber in every theater of operations, and even as a ground attack aircraft and low-level bomber, the B-25 was a reliable aircraft with a proven record that was hard to beat. Even after WWII, the B-25 saw considerable use in the civilian sector as a transport aircraft and as a fire-bomber over America’s forested regions.

The traveling Wings of Freedom Tour has two primary objectives as it crisscrosses the United States. First, it seeks to honor the sacrifices made by veterans. As part of this effort, all WWII vets will receive free admission to this event. Second, Wings of Freedom aims to teach Americans about their national history and heritage. The Collings Foundation, which runs the tour, encourages visitors to see the planes up close, talk to the veterans who flew them, and even participate in a flight experience.  That’s right. Not only can you see these planes up close, but you can even fly in them. 

Since Wings of Freedom kicked off its national tour in 1989, it has made almost 3000 visits to airports across America.  Every year, Wings of Freedom welcomes an estimated 3.5 to 4 million visitors.  You can join these legions of aircraft enthusiasts, students of history, and explorers of heritage. 

These planes will be open to the public on March 29-31 at the Marana Regional Airport, 11700 West Avra Valley Road.  Hours on Friday, March 29, are 3:00 to 5:00 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and March 31 are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Admission for adults is $15, and children under 12 can join the fun for $5. Plan your trip today!

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