APRIL 30-MAY 3 AT JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT IN OC

PAID PUBLIC FLIGHTS AVAILABLE ON WW II-ERA B-17, B-24 AND P-51 MUSTANG AIRCRAFT

SANTA ANA, Calif.—The nationally renowned Collings Foundation “Wings Of Freedom Tour,” offering the general public aircraft tours along with flights on famous World War II-era heavy bombers and “stick time” in a P-51 Mustang long-range fighter plane, visited the Lyon Air Museum (LAM) at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., Friday, April 30, through Monday, May 3, 2010.

The stars of a 110-city nationwide tour, the WWII-era aircraft participating in the Collings Foundation “Wings Of Freedom Tour” include the “Nine O Nine” Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber, the “Witchcraft” Consolidated B-24J Liberator Heavy Bomber, and the dual-control “Betty Jane” North American Aviation P-51C Mustang—a model known during the war as “the world’s greatest fighter.”

“This was a rare opportunity for people in Southern California to visit, explore and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history,” said Mark Foster, LAM president. “”Each of these planes tells a story about the Second World War that’s important for future generations to know and understand, and this event gave attendees the opportunity to experience first-hand some of the remarkable aircraft flown by aviation’s greatest generation.”

Visitors were invited to explore the aircraft inside and out. A donation of $6 for adults and $3 donation for children under age 12 was requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. Visitors also experienced the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flight experiences are a tax-deductible donation. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 were $425 per person. P-51 flights were $2,200 for a half- hour and $3,200 for a full hour. In addition to “Wings of Freedom” walk-through tour donations, standard LAM entrance fees were required

The “Wings of Freedom Tour” arrived at John Wayne-Orange County Airport at 2 p.m. on April 30 and was on display at LAM until the aircraft departed May 3 at 12 p.m. Hours of ground tours and display were: 2- 5 p.m. on Friday, April 30; 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 1; 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 2; 9 a.m. through 12 p.m. on Monday, May 3. The 30-minute flight experiences were scheduled before and after the ground tour times above.

The Collings Foundation, based in Stow, Mass., is a 501c3 non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing “living history” events that allow people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The nationwide “Wings of Freedom Tour” is in its 21st year and visits an average of 110 cities in more than 35 states annually. Since its start, tens of millions of people have seen the B-17, B-24 and P-51 exhibit at locations throughout the country. 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. Website: www.collingsfoundation.org

The Lyon Air Museum (LAM) is located at 19300 Ike Jones Road, Santa Ana, CA 92707. P: 714/210-4585. F: 714/210-4588. Email: info@lyonairmuseum.org

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily – Seven Days a Week. Admission rates: General admission–$8; Seniors and Veterans–$6; Ages 5-17–$4; Under age 5—Free. Groups of 10 or more–$1 off each visitor. Pre-arranged school groups—Free.

Contact: Ned Madden
Rodheim Marketing Group
949/547-0143

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‘WINGS OF FREEDOM’ TOUR OF WW II AIRCRAFT

WW II-FEMALE PILOT VI COWDEN, 93, TO FLY
P-51 MUSTANG FIGHTER, GREET ATTENDEES, SHOW FILM ‘WINGS OF SILVER’

WHEN: Friday, April 30 – Monday, May 3, 2010

WHERE: LYON AIR MUSEUM
19300 Ike Jones Road. Santa Ana, CA 92707
P: 714/210-4585 / F: 714/210-4588

WHO: World War II pilot and Congressional Gold Medal winner Vi Cowden, 93, of Huntington Beach, Calif., will be appearing at the Lyon Air Museum (LAM), John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., as part of the nationally renowned Collings Foundation “Wings of Freedom Tour,” being held Friday, April 30, through Monday, May 3, 2010.

Cowden served during World War II among the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), the first women to fly American military aircraft. Cowden ferried fighter planes for the war effort. She flew the planes (including her favorite, the P-51 Mustang) from the factories to the air bases. She flew enough trips with the WASP to have circumnavigated the world 55 times. She is also the star of a movie — “Wings of Silver: the Vi Cowden Story” — showing this month at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Cowden will participate in two “Wings of Freedom Tour” event activities:

  1. On Friday, April 30, she will fly in a P-51 Mustang, leaving San Bernardino International Airport, San Bernardino, Calif. at 1 p.m. and arriving at John Wayne Airport at 2 p.m. to kick off the “Wings Of Freedom Tour” event at LAM
  2. On Saturday, May 1, she will be greeting attendees and well-wishers at LAM from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Her film “Wings of Silver: the Vi Cowden Story” will air at 1 p.m. in the LAM movie theater located on the museum premises.

WHAT: “Wings of Freedom” offers the general public aircraft tours along with flights on famous World War II-era heavy bombers and “stick time” in a P-51 Mustang long-range fighter plane. The stars of a 110-city nationwide tour, the WWII-era aircraft participating in the Collings Foundation “Wings Of Freedom Tour” include the “Nine O Nine” Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber, the “Witchcraft” Consolidated B-24J Liberator Heavy Bomber, and the dual-control “Betty Jane” North American Aviation P-51C Mustang—a model known during the war as “the world’s greatest fighter.” Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out. A donation of $6 for adults and $3 donation for children under age 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. Visitors may also experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flight experiences are a tax-deductible donation. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $425 per person. P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half- hour and $3,200 for a full hour. In addition to “Wings of Freedom” walk-through tour donations, standard LAM entrance fees are required. (NOTE: The tour has reserved spaces aboard the bombers for media.) For reservations and information on flight experiences, call 800/568-8924.

All participants (media included) flying from San Bernardino to Orange County / John Wayne on Friday, April 30, as part of the “Wings of Freedom Tour” need to be at the San Bernardino Intl. Airport by 12 p.m. noon ready to go. Planes will depart at 1 p.m. Approximate ETA John Wayne is 1:45 p.m. 

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