You can fly in a B-17 World War II plane later this month! The fully restored aircraft will land at the Smyrna Airport on Saturday. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Movie Memphis Belle" will take to the skies over Smyrna and Nashville on Saturday and Sunday. Public flights will begin in the morning with ground tours in the afternoon. Hours are from 10am to 5pm at the Smyrna Airport.
The B-17 flight experience takes 45 minutes with approximately half hour in flight. B-17 Flights are $410 for Liberty Foundation members and $450 for non-members. Passengers can become a Liberty Foundation Member for $40 and receive the member discount for family and friends. While the cost to take a flight sounds expensive, it must be put into perspective when compared to the B-17's operating cost. A Flying Fortress cost is over $4500 per flight hour. The Liberty Foundation spends over $1,500,000 annually to keep the B-17 airworthy and out on tour.
Rockvale Resident Mike Bryan of Rockvale shares his story of what it's like to fly on a B-17 and we have some wonderful photos on our website, WGNSRadio.com.
What's it like to fly on a B-17 Flying Fortress? It's a thrill and a privilege of a lifetime. We were able to experience being with a 90 year old WWII veteran on flight. William "Dub" Toombs who was a flight engineer on both the B-17 and B-24. Flying with him is beyond words but for sure an honor. Mr. Toombs is in town from Little Rock, Arkansas for the 8th Air Force group reunion. This flight was a awesome event for this 64 year old guy. Sitting in the seat of an aircraft just like our brightest and bravest flew in and thinking of all they did and all they gave is very sobering. I have always been thankful for our guys and gals in uniform and this flight has deepened that thankfulness. I was able to share this voyage with my daughter. Was it happen chance? No. Was it meant to be? Yes. This is a day I will never forget.
The Flying Fortress will be stationed at the Smyrna Airport this coming Friday and Saturday October 11th and 12th. For more information please visit their website libertyfoundation.org
Written by Mike Bryan
Rockvale , TN