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Warbirds and train rides

by Nate Billings Modified: April 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm •  Published: April 10, 2012
A Consolidated B-24 Liberator taxis after landing at Valair Aviation at Wiley Post Airport as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour in Bethany, Okla., Friday, April 6, 2012. The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the country with vintage World War II aircraft to show the public as a living history display. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
A Consolidated B-24 Liberator taxis after landing at Valair Aviation at Wiley Post Airport as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour in Bethany, Okla., Friday, April 6, 2012. The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the country with vintage World War II aircraft to show the public as a living history display. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

 

Last Friday and Saturday, I was lucky enough to get two assignments that can not only make nice photographs, but also be a lot of fun. The Wings of Freedom Tour arrived at Wiley Post Airport on Friday, and the Oklahoma Railway Museum began its regular schedule of train rides on Saturday.

I used to make model airplanes, like most kids, and still have a model train set. So, getting to see these machines up close was real thrill. While insurance issues kept me from taking a ride on a B-17, I did get to hop aboard a couple of train rides. Since these two organizations are always looking volunteers, maybe I know a couple of things I can do when I retire.

 

Assistant conductors Steve Davis, left, and son Michael Davis wait for passengers to start boarding for a train ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand Blvd., in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 7, 2012. The museum gives train rides the 1st and 3rd Saturday from April through August.  Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Assistant conductors Steve Davis, left, and son Michael Davis wait for passengers to start boarding for a train ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand Blvd., in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 7, 2012. The museum gives train rides the 1st and 3rd Saturday from April through August. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
World War II veteran Earl J. Gonzales watches as a P-51 Mustang lands at Valair Aviation at Wiley Post Airport as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour in Bethany, Okla., Friday, April 6, 2012. The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the country with vintage World War II aircraft to show the public as a living history display. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
World War II veteran Earl J. Gonzales watches as a P-51 Mustang lands at Valair Aviation at Wiley Post Airport as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour in Bethany, Okla., Friday, April 6, 2012. The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the country with vintage World War II aircraft to show the public as a living history display. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Margaret Robinson holds her daughter, Marion Robinson, 2, as they take a train ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand Blvd., in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 7, 2012. The museum gives train rides the 1st and 3rd Saturday from April through August. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Margaret Robinson holds her daughter, Marion Robinson, 2, as they take a train ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand Blvd., in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 7, 2012. The museum gives train rides the 1st and 3rd Saturday from April through August. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
B-17 flight engineer Steve Arnold leans on the wheel of a B-24 at Valair Aviation after landing at Wiley Post Airport as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour in Bethany, Okla., Friday, April 6, 2012. The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the country with vintage World War II aircraft to show the public as a living history display. Most of the people who work on the tour, including Arnold, are volunteers. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
B-17 flight engineer Steve Arnold leans on the wheel of a B-24 at Valair Aviation after landing at Wiley Post Airport as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour in Bethany, Okla., Friday, April 6, 2012. The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the country with vintage World War II aircraft to show the public as a living history display. Most of the people who work on the tour, including Arnold, are volunteers. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Engineer Guy Lynn climbs aboard a locomotive before giving a train ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand Blvd., in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 7, 2012. The museum gives train rides the 1st and 3rd Saturday from April through August. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Engineer Guy Lynn climbs aboard a locomotive before giving a train ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand Blvd., in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 7, 2012. The museum gives train rides the 1st and 3rd Saturday from April through August. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
World War II veterans Earl J. Gonzales, left, and Harley Richardson talks with flight engineer Kelly Hughes before taking a flight on a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour at Valair Aviation at Wiley Post Airport in Bethany, Okla., Friday, April 6, 2012. The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the country with vintage World War II aircraft to show the public as a living history display.Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
World War II veterans Earl J. Gonzales, left, and Harley Richardson talks with flight engineer Kelly Hughes before taking a flight on a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour at Valair Aviation at Wiley Post Airport in Bethany, Okla., Friday, April 6, 2012. The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the country with vintage World War II aircraft to show the public as a living history display.Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

-Nate Billings

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by Nate Billings
Photographer
Nate Billings never planned to become a photojournalist. He took pictures as a hobby growing up and worked as an assistant for his father, a commercial still and video photographer, but chose to study English Literature in college. Billings did...
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