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History Flying Over the Lakefront of Chicago

By Todd McClamroch in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 28, 2007 11:05AM

07_28_2007_B17overChicago.jpgThis weekend beach goers will have the chance to view a little bit of history flying overhead. The Wings of Freedom Tour is bringing their B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator and B-25 Mitchell World War II aircraft to the Chicagoland area. The airplanes will be based at Chicago Executive Airport (formerly Palwaukee) from Friday through Monday and conducting flights up and down the lake front.

These unique planes will be on display at Chicago Executive Airport where visitors will be able to check out the inside and outside of the aircraft for a $10 donation for adults and a $5 donation for children under 12. Visit the Chicago Executive Airport website for information on when the planes will be on display. Looking for something a little more exciting?

Aviation fanatics can take a 30 minute flight in the B-17 or B-24 for a donation of $425 which goes to defray maintenance and operations costs for the aircraft that have reached over $4,000 per operating hour. Flights in the B-25 are $400 for forward fuselage seats, and $325 for waist gun seats for a 30 minute flight. Though, on the upside the donation is fully tax deductible.

2007_28_2007_b17.jpgSeeing these planes that were the backbone of the allied airpower of WWII fly is a unique site. Despite over 12,000 B-17 Bombers having been built there are only 9 in flying condition in the United States. The B-24J Liberator is the only remaining plane of its type still flying.

The tour is brought to town by the Collings Foundation which according to their site has dedicated itself to preserving the machines that helped build the world and helped keep it free; displaying these machines to honor those who were influenced by them; and to educate future generations about them...". Visit their site for more information or call to schedule a flight 1-800-568-8924.

Chicagoist had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the B-17G Flying Fortress as it flew from Valparaiso to Chicago. If you are a serious aviation or history buff check out for more on this flight experience including photos and videos.