Flying museums: Plymouth Airport visitors have chance to see, ride in restored World War II bombers

The Patriot Ledger staff

Aviation buffs have a chance to fly into history in Plymouth this weekend as three World War II bombers come to - and take off from - the town’s airport.

The planes, a B-17, B-24 and B-25 renovated and toured by the Collings Foundation in Stow, will be on display today through Monday on the main terminal ramp as part of the foundation’s Living History national tour.

For a tax-deductible fee of $425, passengers can take a ride in a restored 1940s-era B-17 or B-24 bomber or aboard a B-25 for $325 to $400, depending on where the passenger sits. The less adventurous may also explore the bombers on the ground. There will be a $10 entrance fee for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger, while World War II veterans enter for free.

‘‘People can relive something that was a period of history,’’ said Bob Collings, co-founder of Collings Foundation. ‘‘People have a chance to fly in the aircraft like the crewmen who flew in them and feel what they lived through.’’

After the war, the planes ended up in scrap heaps until several organizations, including the Collings Foundation, restored them as functional flying museums. For just one of the planes, the B-24, the restoration costs were about $1.3 million. All the money raised from flights and visits is used to maintain the aircraft.

There are fewer than 15 B-17 bombers left in the United States. The foundation says its B-24 Liberator is the only one in the world that still flies.

The planes, ringed with 50-caliber guns, , are making stops elsewhere in New England and in New York this month.

For more information, visit collingsfoundation.org.