The last flying example of an important warplane during World War Two is in eastern Iowa today and it’s taking on passengers, though it’s not a cheap ticket. Bob Collings is president of the Massachusetts-based Collings Foundation, which restores aging aircraft and takes them to the public. Collings says the “Wings of Freedom” Tour has landed in Cedar Rapids with two historic bombers. He says the B-24 Liberator is the -only- flying B-24 in the world of 18-thousand-500 that were built during the early 1940s, while the B-17 Flying Fortress is among only about six or seven that are still flying. Collings says the two aircraft are sitting at the airport in Cedar Rapids for today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday) only, in their only Iowa appearance. Tours through the insides of both planes are an eight-dollar donation for adults and four-bucks for kids, while taking a 35-minute flight in one of them costs 400-dollars. While that may be a steep price, Collings says it is tax deductible. He says the people who climb aboard vary in age from four-year-olds to 84-year-olds.The Collings Foundation is a non-profit, educational group. Its purpose is to organize and support “living history” events that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage through direct participation. For more information on taking a tour or flight, call (386) 451-9508 or surf to: “www.collingsfoundation.org”.
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