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Noteworthy

These World War II Bomber Planes Are Coming To Boca Raton, And You Can Tour Them Soon

The Boca Raton Airport will soon look like its aircraft have flown back in time to the 1940s when a national tour of extremely rare WWII-era bomber and fighter planes makes a pit stop in Boca.

Restored to their original 1940s configuration, the aircrafts include the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber, B-25 Mitchell "Tondelayo" mid range bomber, and P-51 Mustang fighter.

Those who want the chance to experience a piece of "living history" through this exhibit can head to the Boca Raton Airport from Thursday, Jan. 28 to Sunday, Jan. 31. Visitors can gain an up-close look inside and outside of the aircraft for $12 per adult or $6 per child under 12.

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WWII veterans can tour for free.

The Collings Foundation, the educational nonprofit behind the exhibit, has flown and displayed these aircraft nationally for the past 27 years because of both their rarity and importance in telling the story of WWII.

The B-17 aircraft is one of only eight of its kind still in flying condition in the world. Meanwhile, the B-24 and P-51 are the only remaining planes of their type. So few remain because, after WWII, many planes were scrapped for their raw aluminum with the aim of raising money to rebuild the country.

Part of the 110-city "Wings of Freedom Tour," the exhibit is considered a flying tribute to all those who worked on and benefited from these planes: the flight crews, the ground crews, the workers who built them, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and the citizens whose freedom they helped preserve.

For a true once-in-a-lifetime experience, a select few can take a half-hour flight aboard these rare bomber planes. It's $400 per person for the B-25, $450 for the B-17 or B-24—planes considered the backbone of the American war effort—and $2,200 per half-hour or $3,200 per hour for flights on the P-51, which saved crews from attacking Axis fighters during the war.

The planes will be on display at the airport's Signature Flight Support. The aircraft will be available for ground tours from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 28 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 29 through Jan. 31.

To reserve a flight experience, call 800.568.8924.

Signature Flight Support at Boca Raton Airport; 3300 Airport Road, Boca Raton

(Photos courtesy The Collings Foundation)