Arts & Entertainment

WWII-era aircraft soar into Tri-Cities

The Wings of Freedom Tour flies into the Tri-Cities for a three-day layover June 22-24 at Bergstrom Aircraft near the Tri-Cities Airport.

Three World War II aircraft, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, a B-24 Liberator bomber and a P-51 Mustang fighter, will be on hand.

"Visitors will be able to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft, (including) some stick time in the world's greatest fighter, the P-51," said Hunter Chaney of the Collings Foundation which is sponsoring the tour.

There also will be flights offered for $425 in the B-17 and B-24. The Tri-City visit is part of the Collings Foundation's 110-city tour. The tour allows aircraft lovers the chance to visit, explore and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history, Chaney said.

"The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the nation as a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect, and the citizens and families that share the freedom that they helped preserve," Chaney said.

"The B-17 and B-24 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 their mission."

Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and younger. Tour hours are from 2 to 5 p.m. June 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23 and from 9 a.m. to noon June 24.

The Richland Fly-In

The Richland Fly-In is planned for June 26-27 at the Richland Airport.

Festivities happening June 26 include a kickoff barbecue starting at 6 p.m. On June 27 the fun starts at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast and free airplane rides 8 a.m. to 1 p.m for kids 8 to 17.

Other events happening throughout the day include a Chinook helicopter display by the Oregon National Guard, and antique and experimental aircraft displays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 27.

The Mid-Columbia Ninety-Nines, a locally-based women's flying group, also will be on hand.

Admission to the Fly-In is free.

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