Four World War II vintage airplanes arrived Wednesday afternoon at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling as part of the annual Wings of Freedom Tour that offers opportunities for viewing the planes or going up on flights.
The planes, which were delayed flying in from Iowa by rain, are a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell and North American P-51 Mustang. They will be in the area through Sunday.
Visitors can explore the aircraft inside and out at a price of $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Visitors may take a 30-minute B-17 or B-24 flight for $450 per person. P-51 flight training is $2,200 for a half-hour. B-25 flights are $400 per person. For information, call (800) 568-8924.
The aircraft are on display at the ramp off Tower Drive at the airport from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times.
The B-17 is one of only eight in flying condition in the United States, the B-24J is the sole remaining example of its type flying in the world. The B-25 is best known for being used in the daring Doolittle raid. The P-51 Mustang was just awarded Grand Champion for restoration at EAA Oshkosh AirVenture.
The tour is organized by the Collings Foundation, a nonprofit educational foundation devoted to organizing "living history" events. It is celebrating its 28th year and visits an average of 110 cities in more than 35 states annually.
More information is at www.collingsfoundation.org.