THE COLLINGS FOUNDATION’S FIRST ACQUISITION
The first aircraft the Foundation acquired was a B-24 airframe that badly needed a complete, down-to-the-last-rivet restoration. The aircraft was in England, but that was only the last stop in a long history. Initially,
it had been a Royal Air Force airplane that had flown combat and supply missions all over the South Pacific during WW II before being integrated into the China/Burma/India campaigns. When the war ended, that plane, along with many of its peer group, was left abandoned in India. At the time, India was building its own air force, and selected several dozen B-24s to be rebuilt and put back into active service. This particular airplane served India into the 1960s before being once again abandoned. A collector brought it to England and then sold it to the Collings Foundation. Several years and more than 97,000 rivets later, the airplane was put into service.
The AD-5 Skyraider joined the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tours in mid-2018. (Photo courtesy of the Collings Foundation)