QUEENSBURY -- The three vintage World War II airplanes scheduled to arrive at Warren County airport Wednesday found the upstate New York weather to be an insurmountable foe and will not arrive until Thursday morning at the earliest.
“The weather’s not good. We’re going to hang onto them for another day,” said Dave Carman, the manager at the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport, where the planes have been during the early part of this week.
Hunter Chaney, a spokesman for the Collings Foundation, which runs the “Wing of Freedom” tour, said the weather had prevented the B-17 Super Fortress, the B-24 Liberator and the P-51 Mustang from leaving Rutland at noon as planned.
The planes must fly on “Visual Flight Rules,” so the weather must be favorable.
Wednesday was cloudy and there was scattered rain along the flight route.
The planes will try again Thursday morning, and once they arrive and set up, they will be open for tours until 5 p.m. Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon Friday. They will then depart for Schenectady for a three-day event there.
“It’s all a matter of the weather,” Chaney said. “We play it from the hip at this point.”
Chaney said the planes will be open for tours soon after arriving at the airport. If the weather keeps them grounded Thursday, they could pay a brief visit Friday.
“If it’s bright and sunny on Friday, we’ll fly to Queensbury and be there until noon,” Chaney said, noting the planes have to be in Schenectady at 2 p.m. Friday. “Unfortunately, we have to stay on schedule, so there’s a chance we might miss Queensbury completely.”
If the Rutland stop is any indication, the planes will draw a lot of interest.
“I have never seen that many people here before,” Carman said. It’s absolutely amazing. You see people in their 90s going through the planes, and their eyes just light up.”
Tours of all three planes cost $12 for adults, $6 for children under 12. There is no cost for World War II veterans. Discounts are available for school groups.
After the tour times, there are opportunities for flights in the planes. The cost for a 30-minute flight in the bombers is $425. A flight in the P-51 is $2,200 for 30 minutes, or $3,200 for an hour. Further information is available at 800-568-8924.