Rides Aboard World War II Fighters, Bombers To Begin in Riverside

RIVERSIDE (CNS) - American aircraft that gained fame during World War II will be roaring into Riverside Municipal Airport today, starting a three-day stay during which visitors will have an opportunity to take paid rides aboard fighters and bombers.

``This event is very important to the city to honor our veterans,'' airport manager Kim Ellis said. ``The aircraft that will be on display helped win WW II, and many of our residents are veterans of that war. We are honored.''

The Stow, Massachusetts-based Collings Foundation is bringing its 2018 ``Wings of Freedom Tour'' to Riverside as part of an itinerary that involves just over 100 stops throughout the United States.

From today to Wednesday, visitors to Riverside Municipal Airport will have an opportunity to ride aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress, a B-24 Liberator, a B-25 Mitchell, a P-51 Mustang and an A-1E Skyraider.

Tickets range from $450 to $3,200, depending on the aircraft and the duration of the flight, according to the foundation. The price of admission to go inside and explore the planes is generally between $5 and $15, with the lowest-priced tickets reserved for children.

``Over 60 years ago, they flew from bases far from home, over occupied and enemy territory, in an attempt to weaken the forces of evil so that freedom could once again return to the people who it was stolen from,'' according to a statement by the nonprofit organization.

``Now they fly on missions that are quite different than those of so long ago. Their mission for today is to educate the world about our courageous World War II veterans and to remember those who have left us. These aircraft stand as tributes to their crews and fly on as living history to enlighten future generations.''

According to city officials, the BBC will have a film crew on hand during the tour's Riverside stop to record an episode of ``Impossible Engineering.''

More information is available at https://www.collingsfoundation.org/.

Photo: Getty Images

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