Collings Foundation‘s “Wings of Freedom Tour” recently passed through a number of New England airports. The aircraft (B-17, B-24, B-25 and P-51) are always worth seeing. This time, their TP-51C “Betty Jane” had been replaced by the recently restored TF-51D “Toulouse Nuts”.
I saw the aircraft several times, at Beverly, MA (KBVY) on 2016-09-18, at Manchester, NH (KMHT) on 2016-09-20 and -21, and at Worcester, MA (KORH) on 2016-09-24. The Worcester stop featured additional aircraft; I was able to photograph their Corsair and Skyraider.
I also received the honor of being the Collings Foundation’s first “fan photographer of the week”. There will be a separate blog post about this.
“Witchcraft” – Foundation’s Consolidated B-24J Liberator (NX224J, 44-44052) served with the Royal Air Force during WW2 and with the Indian Air Force after the war. The aircraft is now painted as 42-52534, “Witchcraft”, an unusually successful aircraft that amassed 130 missions during WW2 in Europe (the original “Witchcraft” was scrapped after returning to the US after the war). This is the last late-model Liberator still flying (Commemorative Air Force has a B-24A).
“Nine-o-nine” – Foundation’s Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (N93012, c/n 32264, 44-83575) is painted as 42-31909, “Nine-O-Nine”.
“Tondelayo” – There are still a number of B-25 Mitchells flying around the world. Foundation’s aircraft, North American B-25N Mitchell (NL3476G, 44-28932), named “Tondelayo”, is technically a TB-25N conversion.
“Toulouse Nuts” – New to the tour, the recently restored Mustang “Toulouse Nuts” is a post-war TF-51D conversion. It was recognized as the “Grand Champion” at this years EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, WI.
In Worcester we saw some additional aircraft, including:
- Vought F4U-5NL Corsair (NX45NL, BuNo. 124692) – this aircraft served with VC-3 in the Korean War and later with the Honduran Air Force (as FAH-607).
- Douglas A-1E Skyraider (N188RH, c/n 10265, BuNo. 135188) – this aircraft was originally built as an AD-5W (AEW) version and later converted to the A-1E configuration. It carries the markings of its last service squadron VAQ-33 in the late 1960s.