A flight of vintage World War II aircraft is returning to Yakima Air Terminal next week.
The Collings Foundation’s “Wings of Freedom Tour” will arrive at the McCormick Air Center, 3210 W. Washington Ave., at noon Monday. Visitors will have a chance to see or even take a brief flight in a B-17 Flying Fortress, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, a B-24 Liberator or a P-51 Mustang fighter.
Yakima is one of the 110 stops on the foundation’s nationwide tour. The planes also came to Yakima in 2015 and 2016.
Bob Collings, founder of the Stow, Mass., foundation, said the aircraft serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by their crews, usually men in their late teens or early 20s, during the war.
“Nine O Nine,” the foundation’s B-17, is one of only eight Flying Fortresses in flying condition, according to the foundation. “Witchcraft,” the B-24, is the only remaining Liberator in flying condition in the world.
The B-25, “Tondelayo” is the same type of aircraft that Col. James Doolittle used to bomb Tokyo in a daring raid that marked the first time heavy bombers took off from an aircraft carrier.
The foundation offers World War II veterans an opportunity to fly into tour stops with the crews for free, Collings said.
“It typically brings back a lot of memories for them,” Collings said of the veterans’ flights. “It’s a wonderful experience.”
When they arrive, the public has a chance to check them out on the ground, or even get a ride.
Ground tours of the aircraft, where members of the public can go inside the planes, will be done from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 27 and 9 a.m. to noon on the last day of the visit.
Half-hour flights in the aircraft will take place before and after the ground-tour times, according to the foundation.
Prices for the ground tours are $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12, while flights on the B-17 and the B-24 are $450 per person. B-25 flights cost $400 per person.
Rides in the Mustang are $2,200 for a half-hour flight and $3,200 for an hour.
For reservations for flight experiences, call the foundation at 800-568-8924.