LOWER TOWNSHIP — Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum will host its 16th annual AirFest beginning today with the return of several vintage World War II aircraft.
A B-17G Flying Fortress, a B-24J Liberator and a P-51C Mustang are due to arrive sometime this afternoon for an event that usually draws large crowds to the edge of the tarmac at the Cape May Airport.
Museum Director Joe Salvatore said the planes have been at New Castle Airport in Wilmington, Del., and are due to arrive sometime between noon and 1 p.m today.
The planes, restored by the Collings Foundation, will be here through Friday. At previous AirFests there was a $10 charge to tour the museum, which includes 26 aircraft and other exhibits, and another $5 to tour the warplanes. Salvatore said there will be a single $12 fee for both this year. Children aged 3-12 will pay $8 and children under 3 are free.
The Collings Foundation also offers rides on the planes ranging from $425 on the bombers to $2,200 for 30 minutes in the Mustang or $3,200 for a full hour. Call 800-568-8924 to make flight reservations.
"You can take flights in them if you can afford it. It's a once in a lifetime deal," Salvatore said.
Most are happy just walking through the planes and hearing World War II veterans reminisce about what it was like to serve on one. Another new attraction this year is the F-16 Fighting Falcon the museum received in June.
NASW is at the Cape May Airport on Forrestal Road. The World War II air station trained dive-bombers and is dedicated to the 42 men who perished while training here. The museum is housed in a massive 92,000-square-foot wooden hangar that is on the National Register of Historic Places and is an attraction of its own.
Contact Richard Degener: