WWII planes make return flights

MARTINSBURG – Two vintage World War II airplanes are scheduled to fly next week into the Altoona-Blair County Airport as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour.

The Collings Foundation of Stowe, Mass., which has brought as many as four warbirds to Blair County during previous tours, has scheduled its B-17 Flying Fortress and its B-24 Liberator for viewing and flights from Wednesday to Friday.

Both were used extensively on bombing missions from 1942-45.

If available, the foundation’s P-51 Mustang, which often flew with bombers to protect crews from enemy fire, will be part of the show “The P-51 was flown to Florida for maintenance, and it may or may not be done in time to have it in Altoona,” Ken Miles, director of operations for the Collings Foundation, said Thursday. “It was in need some maintenance that we thought was going to wait until we got through the tour, but on Monday, we decided to get it done now. … We wanted to be cautious.”

Altoona-Blair County Airport Manager Tim Hite said he welcomes the organization and its aircraft that always grab interest.

“It’s good for the airport,” Hite said.

This year’s schedule calls for walk-through aircraft tours from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon Friday. The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 years old and younger.

Flights in either aircraft, at $425 per person, can be reserved by calling 800-568-8924.

More information about the tour and aircraft can be found at www.collingsfoundation.org or on the Altoona-Blair County Airport website at www.altoonablaicountyairport.com.