Vintage aircraft thunder through local skies
June 22, 2012 · 8:32 AM
Area skies recently thundered and roared with echoes from the past when vintage combat aircraft landed at the Bremerton International Airport.
The vintage aircraft were a B-17 Flying Fortress, a B-24 Liberator and a P-51 Mustang all of which are among the last of their kind to still climb towards the heavens.
The aircraft are all part of the Wings of Freedom Tour offered by the Collings Foundation and currently touring nationwide with stops in Bremerton, Pasco, Wenatchee, Everett and Hoquiam among their Washington stops.
The Collings Foundation has recovered and restored many of the aircraft that once ruled the skies and made aviation history and continues to tour the craft at air shows and other events.
For Cindy Brook, who is the coordinator for the Bremerton stop, the foundation's mission to offer an opportunity to see such aircraft is one that is close to her heart.
Brook said her father used to coordinate the events in Bremerton and she had been unofficially handed the honor when her father passed away eight years ago.
Brook said the foundation has been touring aircraft for 23 years and had made 15 stops in Bremerton.
She said her father had been too young to fly the aircraft but had seen them in the skies growing up in Seattle and the area and had passed his awe and appreciation down to her.
She said she hoped people would take the time to see the planes on one of their area stops because she felt it would inspire the same awe and appreciation among attendees of the events.
“These aircraft are actual flying museums,” she said. “And rather than having to travel somewhere else to see them, they actually see the working craft and meet people who fly them and have flown in them.”
Brook said the aircraft were a connection with a past that was disappearing. She said the B-24 Liberator in the event was the only World War II configuration aircraft of its type still flying anywhere in the world.
She urged anyone who might have missed the Bremerton stop to see one of the other area stops. She said the stops offered tours of the planes as well as well as an opportunity to hear the planes and see them in action.
The tour will stop in Hoquiam from June 20 through June 22 and in Seattle June 22 through June 24 before moving eastward through Idaho. More information on the aircraft and tour can be found at www.collingsfoundation.org.
The tour also offers a chance for people to experience a piece of history in person, and Brook said an opportunity to honor the memory of the men who served their country during World War II.
“These planes fly in tribute to all the veterans of World War II Who got the job done,” she said.