For immediate release - February 7, 2011
Historic Aircraft Swoop Into Leesburg International Airport
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE COLLINGS FOUNDATION
Take an up-close adventure into aviation history Feb. 25-28 when three iconic planes from the World War II era fly into Leesburg International Airport for a special viewing.
The fully-restored aircraft - part of the Collings Foundation’s annual Wings of Freedom Tour - will be on display along the Bravo taxiway on the airport’s east side near Echo Drive. Free parking will be available next to the taxiway.
The collection includes a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress – one of the most widely recognized types of aircraft during W.W. II. The bomber is powered by four, 1,200-
horsepower engines with a wingspan of more than 103 feet.
The Consolidated B-24J Liberator – a four-engine bomber measuring 67 feet long - is the only plane of its kind flying today, according to the Collings Foundation. It required five years and 97,000 hours of labor to completely restore it to flight readiness.
The North American TP-51C Mustang is among the world’s most recognizable historic warplanes, which was used for bomber escorts and fighting over Europe during W.W. II.
“People of all ages should come to see and witness a unique piece of history that will not be around forever,” said Charlie Weller, manager of Leesburg International Airport. “The B-24 is the only B-24 that is in flying condition worldwide.”
Visitors are invited to explore the planes and look inside. Pilots and specialists also will be available to provide information and first-hand insight about each aircraft.
Donations are $12 for adults, $6 for children 12 and younger. Thirty-minute flights aboard the bombers are available for $425 per person. Flights aboard the TP-51C Mustang also will be available.
The planes will be on display from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 25,
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 26-27 and 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 28.
The Wings of Freedom Tour started 20 years ago. The Collings Foundation is a non-profit educational foundation based in Stow, Mass. For more information, call 1-800-568-8924 or visit www.collingsfoundation.org
Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 20,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday.