COSTA MESA : Vintage Planes to Mark Anniversary

Travelers at John Wayne Airport should not be shocked today if they see a B-17 Flying Fortress, a B-24 Liberator and other vintage World War II planes landing at the airport.

A dozen planes will be on display this weekend to mark the 70th anniversary of Martin Aviation, whose founder, Eddie Martin, opened the airfield that became Orange County Airport, and later, John Wayne Airport.

The two bombers, escorted by other vintage aircraft, will be landing at 3 p.m. There will be a viewing area next to Martin Aviation at 19301 Campus Drive for the landing. Tours of the two bombers will be given through Sunday.

The two planes were restored by a Massachusetts foundation and have been a popular attraction at previous air shows.

During the $1-million restoration of the B-24, the aircraft was taken apart and most of its 1.2 million parts were worked on, Martin Aviation officials said.

Escorting the bombers today will be two Corsair F4Us, a P-51 Mustang, a British Supermarine Spitfire, a Grumman F8F Bearcat, a British Vampire and a Douglas Skyraider.

Members of the County Board of Supervisors will attend the landing and commemorate Martin Aviation.

Tours of the B-17 and B-24 will cost $7 for adults and $3 for children. Display hours will be from 3 to 6 p.m. today, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, when the planes will depart.

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