Wings of Freedom; WWII planes on display in the valley

It is a must see for airplane and history buffs; three unique warplanes from World War II that are on display in the valley this week.

You can tour the planes, and if you're willing to pay, you can even take a ride in one.

The aircraft were flown during the end of World War II, and after safely bringing home the service members, they are now on display in Mesa.

One of them is a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, which flew 140 missions.

"It also downed three German aircraft, that's what the markings show," said Ryan Keough.

Ryan Keough is the flight coordinator of the Collings Foundation. It's a non-profit that displays old warplanes from state to state.

"It's a rare opportunity for people to get a real up close and personal way of experiencing World War II history in the valley," said Keough.

Another aicraft on display is a P-51 Mustang Fighter with a dual controller. You can fly in it if you want, but it will cost you $2,200 per half hour.

"But believe me it's well worth it, and it goes back to keeping these airplanes flying. It costs $5,000 per operating hour to keep these airplanes going, each one of them," he said.

It's the only one of it's kind still operating, a B-24 Liberator Bomber that flies as high as 22,000 feet also joins the other World War II planes on display.

"It's a very interesting opportunity to actually go through this aircraft and see this aircraft, they can see it on the ground," said Keough.

The aircraft will be on display the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport until Thursday. Tours operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday the tours operate from 9 a.m. to Noon. 

It costs $12 for adults, $6 for kids, and it is free for World War II and Korean War Veterans.

For more information on the Wings of Freedom Tour visit: http://www.collingsfoundation.org/events/category/wings-of-freedom-tour/
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