NORTH CANTON — Five vintage World War II aircraft will fly into the MAPS (Military Aviation Preservation Society) Air Museum on Aug. 9 and will be available for tours through Aug. 11.
The planes are part of the Wings of Freedom Tour. Included are a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and North American P-51 Mustang.
In honor of World War II veterans, the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour is binging these extremely rare bomber and fighter aircraft to 110 locations throughout the United States.
Area residents will have the opportunity to visit, explore and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history.
The B-17 "Nine O Nine" is one of only nine in flying condition in the United States. The B-24J "Witchcraft" is the sole remaining example of its type still flying, and the B-25 "Tondelayo" is best known for being used in the Doolittle raid.
The P-51 Mustang "Toulouse Nuts" was awarded the grand champion award for restoration. New to the tour is the P-40 Warhawk "Jaws," best known for being part of the Flying Tigers.
Visitors can explore the aircraft and the MAPS Museum’s other planes for $15 (adults) and $5 (children under 12). Discount rates are offered for school groups.
Visitors also can experience a 30-minute flight aboard the B-17 or B-24 for $450 per person and B-25 for $400. For reservations and information about flight experiences or the event, call 1-800-568-8924.
The MAPS Museum is on International Parkway off Route 241 adjacent to the Akron-Canton Regional Airport. Hours are 2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 9 and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 10 and 11. Flights are generally scheduled before and after the above hours.
The Collings Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing "living history" events that allows people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation.
The nationwide Wings of Freedom Tour is celebrating its 30th year, and visits an average of 110 cities in more than 35 states annually.
The B-17, B-25 and B-24 bombers were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942 to 1945, and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission.
The P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers’ "Little Friend," saving countless crews from attacking axis fighters. After the war, many aircraft were scrapped for their raw aluminum to rebuild a nation in post-war prosperity and therefore very few were spared.