fbpx header.php

Here is Birthday boy Andres (lead mechanic) winding up the rubber band. ...

Our lead mechanic Andres Morales has a birthday today! Happy B-Day Andres. Give him a pat on the back if you see him in Salem, OR today. ...

A big thank you for all the folks in the Eureka area for taking the time to come visit the tour! There until 12 noon, then off to Corvallis. ...

I exited the John Muir Medical Center in Concord, Ca.. as I approached the crew van, I discovered a note affixed to the van. My first thought was; there must be damage involved! 😱 The note reads as follows; “@ 19 years old, my dad flew 66 missions into France and Italy, out of Corsica- WWII. Earned Silver Star out of 2300 men! Thanks for honoring them! God Bless!” This is a modest tribute to the Collings Family, the Collings Foundation, its mission, and all those that carry it out! After all the highs and lows of volunteering and life on the road, one never knows when or where, a token of inspiration, an impact on someone’s life, a modicum kindness, or a thank you may occur. To whom ever penned this missive, Bless you and yours. Special Thanks to the courage of your dad, and all those who fought, served, and supported, the effort to mold this Country, May they never be forgotten! ...

On June 5, 2019, Gordon Boultbee and Bill Traverso brought WWII Veteran, Lt. Albert Maggini (pic below) to the Wings of Freedom Tour, at the Charles Schultz airport in Sonoma County, Ca., to see the “909,” B17, as well as the Navigators seat similar to the one he served in. Lt. Maggini served as a B17 Navigator in the Mighty 8th, 351 Bomb Group, during WWII. Lt. Maggini is 103 years of age today. Lt. Maggini shook my hand and stated, “I will be 104 in September, if I make it.” I can assure you that if his firm handshake was any indication, Lt. Maggini will make it to 104, and beyond.

The 351st Bomb Group is the same unit Clark Gabel was in, but not at the same time, recalls Lt. Maggini.

Lt. Maggini enter service in 1944, completing 35 missions and returning home in just prior to the end of the war in 1945. Lt Maggini earned the Air Medal and five clusters. Lt. Maggini was to be awarded the Flying Cross for extending his enlistment, but decided returning to his darling wife was award enough!

Lt. Maggini recalled being “Hit” and losing the #1 engine, and significant damage to the #2 engine. The option was to ditch the plane in the North Sea or try to land in Brussels. Brussels it was, “We would not have survived ditching in the North Sea,” recalls Lt Maggini! He laughingly stated; “some of the men wanted to stay because of all the women,” but he had no part in that! Lt. Maggini said the crew was picked up two days before the Germans took Brussels.

Lt. Maggini stated the worst “flack” he encountered was over the oil refineries, indicated they lost approximately 9 out of 36, B17 aircraft during each raid. After returning from a bombing run over Cologne, Lt. Maggini was presented with a piece of flack discovered lodged in his Navigator’s desk, by a ground crew member that inspected the aircraft upon its return. Lt. Maggini carries that fragment today (see pic).

Lt Maggini flew in the B17, named “Black Magic.” Lt. Maggini reported that some time later, “Black Magic” was lost during a crash landing in Belgium!

Lt. Maggini is a true hero and inspiration. I am honored and pleased to introduce him to you today! Thank you for your service sir!
...

WINGS OF FREEDOM FLIGHT EXPERIENCES

2019 tour is underway! We will be visiting over 100 cities over 2019 (giant clock-wise loop around the U.S.). Additional dates / locations will be posted soon.
You can see the schedule here.

B-17 Flying Fortress Flights – 30 Min. experience
Learn More with this B-17 Flight Experience Video
$450 per person
(min 6 passengers / max 10 passengers)

B-24 Liberator Flights – 30 Min. experience
Learn More with this B-24 Flight Experience Video
$450 per person
(min 6 passengers / max 10 passengers)

B-25 Mitchell Flights – 25 Min. experience
$400 per person
(min 4 passengers / max 7 passengers)

TF-51D Mustang Flight Training
You can take the controls of the famous fighter!

Learn More with this P-51 Flight Training Video
$3400 for 60 minutes of loggable of flight instruction
$2400 for 30 minutes of loggable of flight instruction

TP-40N Warhawk Flight Training
You can take the controls of the famous fighter!
$3200 for 60 minutes of loggable of flight instruction
$2200 for 30 minutes of loggable of flight instruction

Majority of cost is a tax-deductible donation to a 501c3 educational non-profit.
To Reserve a Flight Experience Slot
Call 1-800-568-8924  or 978-562-9182

Over Sixty 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. Their endurance was tested on Nine0Ninemissions of ten or more hours, day after day; their strength was proven as they returned countless crews safely back to their bases. Crews counted on them and a bond was made between man and machine…

… 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.bill

The best way to relive this history is to take a once-in-a-lifetime flight on board the B-17, B-24 & P-51. The Collings Foundation is proud to offer our Flight Experiences on our Wings of Freedom Tour in over 110 cities annually.

Imagine yourself soaring on board the flagships of the USAAF Strategic Bombing fleet of WWII. Take your position in the crew and experience a taste of what it may have been like in WWII. Sit as bombardier, stand as waist gunner, monitor flight activity as a flight engineer would as you observe the pilots flying the mighty bombers. You can wander through the plane as you like.

17Every flight helps to defray maintenance and operations costs for the aircraft that have reached over $4000 per operating hour per aircraft. Maintained to the highest standards and flown by highly experienced pilots, our aircraft safety standards are second to none.

A Flight Experience is an exciting and historic opportunity. The B-17, B-24 and B-25 have been known worldwide as the backbones of Allied airpower of WWII and now is your chance to fly aboard! Some of the questions you may have may be answered below.

What is a Flight Experience?

A Flight Experience on the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator, or B-25 Mitchell is a 30 minute (start-up to shut-down) experience in flight aboard the aircraft at one of our 100+ locations we stop at per year. For both people with or without a pilots license – We also offer flight training in the world’s only full dual control P-51C Mustang fighter!

What is the cost?

Each 30-minute B-17 or B-24 Flight Experience is $450.00 per person (for B-17 & B-24). 30-minute B-25 flights are $400.00 per person  (check schedule for B-25 at select locations).

ToulouseTF-51D Mustang flight training: 30- minute P-51 flight training is $2400 and one hour is $3400. This is a very rare full dual control TF-51D Mustang! You have an opportunity to get flight instruction in this very rare fighter aircraft.

How many people can the planes hold?

A B-17 or B-24 bomber flight must have a minimum of 6 riders to be dispatched and a maximum of 10 riders. The B-25 must have a minimum of 4 riders and a maximum of 7 riders. A flight cannot be confirmed until the minimum amount of riders is reached. The
P-51 has one seat for the pilot and one for the trainee.

How can I schedule a flight?

Please review our schedule online here. You should call us at 800-568-8924 in advance of the visit to schedule a spot on an upcoming flight at a given location. Most flights occur in the early morning before 9 am or later in the afternoon near 5 pm. Flexibility is key to scheduling a flight as weather and passenger loads may change. If you call and are given a voice mail recording, please leave contact information and the coordinator will get back to you as soon as they can.

I would like to give a flight in the upcoming year as a gift, how can I do this?

shop-icons-cats-fcA flight certificate can be purchased from the Collings Foundation online store. These high-quality certificates are perfect for gifts and special occasions. Flight certificates can be used for any flight at any location, however you will still need to call to schedule a spot on a flight at a location. Please visit our online PX for ordering info.

What is the sequence for each flight?

Upon Arrival:
Please arrive one hour prior to your scheduled flight time to get acquainted with the aircraft and crew. You will be asked to fill out a form and pay at this time as well.
Preflight:
Your flight engineer for the flight will discuss aircraft safety with you and the other riders beside the aircraft 20 min prior to engine start. All seating and flight procedures will be discussed at that time. You will then be taken aboard the aircraft and seat-belted for takeoff. All passengers must be seated and secured for engine start, taxi, and takeoff.
In Flight:
B24-7Once the aircraft is airborne, you will be allowed to walk about the aircraft as you like. Take this time to visit the various compartments of the aircraft like the nose, cockpit, waist, and tail sections. Explore as much as you like and feel free to take pictures and video. You will be allowed into the cockpit section during the flight to observe the pilots, but will not be allowed to sit at the controls or interfere with the pilots during the flight.
Landing:
A signal will be given to secure yourself for landing. All passengers must be seated and secure for landing, taxi, and engine shutdown. The flight engineer will help you exit the aircraft after shutdown and securing the aircraft.

What should I bring or wear?

SONY DSCPlease try not to bring baggage of any type on board as space is tight. Cameras and camcorders are allowed. Smaller snapshot cameras tend to work best as the tight spaces may be difficult for larger 35 mm cameras and equipment. We are sorry, but the Collings Foundation is not responsible for the loss or damage of items such as cameras in flight. You may consider bringing foam ear plugs for hearing protection as the flight is quite noisy. The aircraft can be drafty at times, so you may consider bringing a light jacket or sweatshirt for the flight.

For any other questions, please contact the Collings Foundation by calling 978-562-9182 or e-mail to info@collingsfoundation.org

footer.php