Wings of Freedom at @RDUairport with @CollingsFdn

While browsing my Google Feed last week (it knows me so well), I came across an article in The News & Observer about the Wings of Freedom Tour. While I was aware of the Warbirds over Monroe air show coming on Memorial Day, this was news to me! The AvGeek inside needed to be satisfied, so I made plans to visit. Though I was not able to visit on their first night, I was able to visit over the weekend!

I was not the only one with the idea!

The planes were divided into two sections: the B-17 and B-24 were available for walk-through tours, while the B-25 and P-51 were in a cordoned off area where you could purchase flights. The B-24J “Witchcraft” is the last air-worthy Liberator, according to Collings, and you can see a 3-D interior view here (requires Flash).

Next to the B-24 was the B-17. The Nine-O-Nine flies, too! While the Flying Fortress has an incredibly colorful history, the story that comes to mind every time I see this plane is that of Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler (which then inspired the song “No Bullets Fly” by the Swedish metal band Sabaton).

While I was waiting for the P-51 to return from its flight, I managed to catch the return of American’s B772ER that goes between RDU and LHR.

Since the flights last 30 minutes, there was a bit of a wait (man, I wish I had the funds to go up…). In addition to the P-51, there was a B-25 that was also available for flights. Unfortunately, it was parked too far away to get a better shot.

B-25 Mitchell

At last, the Mustang had returned, and I was able to catch a few shots as it returned to the hangar.

This tour is done by the Collings Foundation, and they will be visiting other cities this year. If they’ll be near you, you should check it out!

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