BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Burlington is abuzz with the sound of vintage World War II airplanes. It's a traveling exhibit of bombers and fighter planes that helped win the war.
With Camel's Hump as a backdrop, a B-24 Liberator came through the clouds and landed in Burlington. The World War II vintage bomber is here for "The Wings of Freedom Tour" put on by the Collings Foundation.
"Unlike a lot of museums where you have to travel to the aircraft to see them, we try to make these aircraft accessible by bringing these aircraft into the local communities," said Ryan Keough of the Collings Foundation.
For being over 70 years old, the B-24 is looking pretty good. The plane, though, required a lot of TLC and cash to get it flying again. The plane, named "Witchcraft," ended up in the junkyard. The foundation purchased the aircraft in the late '80s. It took four years to get it to its former glory. Gas keeps the engines running but it's cash that keeps the operation humming.
It will cost you $450 for a half hour flight in the B-24. The money goes right back into keeping the aircraft flying. Ten people at a time squeeze through the belly of the plane designed for 20-year-olds. The takeoff is deafening with the roar of four engines. Frank Pichon, 88, remembers seeing pictures of the plane as a teen.
"I think it's beautiful, I just love the aircraft," said Pichon.
During the war, the B-24 would fly at 28,000 feet to avoid enemy groundfire. Keough says it was common for the B-24 to fly with the B-17 in a formation of over 500 planes. Our joy ride was just 2,500 feet cruising at 160 mph.
This B-24 was built in 1944 and flew in China and Burma. Of the 18,000 that were built, this is the last one that's flying.
The last plane that helped win the war will be buzzing around Burlington until Sunday.