Wings of Freedom: A Flying History Lesson

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Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom landed at Lyons Air Museum this week. — Photo by Jim Collins ©
Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom landed at Lyons Air Museum this week.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©

The Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour has landed in Orange County.

Wings of Freedom brings several historic airplanes to cities across the country every year, allowing members of the public a chance to see the WWII planes up close and even take a ride, and it has once again made a layover in Santa Ana at the Lyon Air Museum. Residents from all over OC, including Newport Beach, flock to the museum for flights on board the B-17, B-24 & P-51. The tour will be in town through Sunday.

“Over 60 years ago they flew from bases far from home, over occupied and enemy territory in an attempt to weaken the forces of evil so that freedom could once again return to the people who it was stolen from,” the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour website reads. “Now they fly on missions that are quite different than those of so long ago. Their mission for today is to educate the world about our courageous World War II veterans and to remember those who have left us. These aircraft stand as tributes to their crews and fly on as living history to enlighten future generations.”

Each 30-minute B-17 or B-24 Flight Experience is $450 per person for B-17 & B-24, and  $400 per person for the B-25 (check schedule for B-25 at select locations).

Flight training for the rare fighter aircraft, TF-51D Mustang, is also available: A 30-minute P-51 flight training is $2,200 and one hour is $3,200. This is a very rare full dual control TF-51D Mustang, according to organizers.

For more information, visit lyonairmuseum.org and collingsfoundation.org/flight-experiences.

A participant gets prepared for takeoff in the TF-51D Mustang. — Photo by Jim Collins ©
A participant gets prepared for takeoff in the TF-51D Mustang.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©
A Lyons Air Museum volunteer talks to guests about the flight experience with the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour. — Photo by Jim Collins ©
A Lyons Air Museum volunteer talks to guests about the flight experience with the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©
The crowd watches departing aircraft on Wednesday. — Photo by Jim Collins ©
The crowd watches departing aircraft on Wednesday.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©
People watch as one of the historic Wings of Freedom planes takes off on Wednesday. — Photo by Jim Collins ©
People watch as one of the historic Wings of Freedom planes takes off on Wednesday.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©
The crowd watches some of the historic planes on Wednesday. — Photo by Jim Collins ©
The crowd watches some of the historic planes on Wednesday.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©
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