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Historic WWII fighter plane, bombers to be on display at West Valley airport

(Collings Foundation Photo)

PHOENIX — History buffs will have the opportunity to tour and fly in World War II bombers and a fighter plane this weekend at a West Valley airport.

“It’s a really unique opportunity to come tour through the aircraft,” Hunter Chaney, director of marketing for the Collings Foundation, said. “They’re restored to their original configurations from World War II and we take people flying in the planes.”

The planes are part of the 110-city Wings of Freedom Tour that will stop for the weekend at Phoenix Goodyear Airport, located near Bullard Avenue and Yuma Road, west of Phoenix. They will be on display through Sunday.

Some of the planes, such as the B-24J Liberator bomber, are the only aircraft of their kind that can still take to the skies.

“The World War II bomber aircraft we have are very rare,” Chaney said. “Probably the most well-known of the bombers is the B-17 Flying Fortress.”

The B-17 that will be on display is one of only eight still flying, while the B-25 Mitchell bomber was used in the famed Doolittle Raid, carried out just a few months after the Japanese bomber Pearl Harbor.

There will also be a P-51 Mustang fighter on display.

KTAR flew on the B-24J with several veterans in 2015.

“It was awesome,” Pearl Harbor survivor and flight engineer Jack Holder said after the ride. “It’s kind of like riding a bicycle — you don’t forget it.”

People can fly on the planes for costs rivaling today’s airline prices. A 30-minute flight on the B-17 or B-24 is $450 per person, while the B-25 is $400 per person.

Those who wish to hone their dog-fighting skills can do so in the Mustang. A half-hour lesson costs $2,200 and a full hour is $3,200.

For reservations or more information, call 800-568-8924.

KTAR’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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