San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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March 17th, 2009
Historic aircraft to visit San Marcos

 

From top to bottom: the P-51C Mustang, B-17G Flying Fortress and B-24J Liberator aircraft that will land in San Marcos on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of  The Collings Foundation.

By SEAN WARDWELL
Managing Editor

The Collings Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to organizing “living history” events, is bringing its Wings of Freedom Tour to the San Marcos Municipal Airport, from March 18-20.

Featured in the tour is “Witchcraft,” a B-24J Liberator bomber. Other aircraft are “Nine O Nine,” a B-17G Flying Fortress, and a dual-controlled P-51C Mustang. The tour is also bringing an Vietnam-era UH-1 Huey helicopter.

“Nine O Nine” is one of only nine flightworthy B-17s left, while the B-24 and P-51 are the last examples of their type that are still able to take to the air. All aircraft played a prominent role in World War II.

“This is not an airshow,” said Hunter Chaney, director of marketing for the Collings Foundation.  “This is a living history event. We want to provide a real tactile and memorable history lesson.

The Wings of Freedom Tour is in its twentieth year, and has already visited 110 cities. After its stay in San Marcos the tour will move on to Austin. The tour sees between 2.5-3 million visitors a year. A $12 donation is requested for adults, and $6 for children under twelve.

As a special treat, the tour is offering 30-minute rides in the B-24 and B-17 for $425 a person. Rides in the P-51 will be $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. Rides in the Huey are $160 for the front seat, and $110 for a seat in the rear of the helicopter.

Hours of ground tours and display are 2-4 p.m. on March 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on March 19 and  9 a.m-noon on March 20. The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times above.For more information, or to reserve a seat on one of the aircraft, contact the Collings Foundation at (800) 568-8924.

The San Marcos Municipal Airport is located at 1841 Airport Drive, next to the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.

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