Sentimental experience: historical B-17 to fly over Tri-state

BULLHEAD city — Flying in one of probably the most iconic airplanes from World struggle II, the B-17 Bomber "Sentimental journey," has been described as "touching history."

"I describe the journey as being visceral as well," spoke of Mike Meuller, Arizona Commemorative Air drive Museum journey application supervisor. "These airplanes are loud, they shake and there's smoke coming out of the engines — which is normal — and it's a hell of loads of fun, too."

Nicknamed the Flying Fortress, the B-17 became a strategic weapon in WWII as a result of its capacity to suffer wide fight harm and still return domestic.

The B-17 "Sentimental experience" is certainly one of simplest eight B-17s in the world nevertheless flying. Of basically 13,000 produced from 1936 to 1945, 8,000 had been lost in fight. 

"it is a once-in-a-lifetime variety of adventure for some people," Meuller spoke of. "We go to areas that don't see loads of these kinds of aircraft. To be able to crawl via — it's a combination of strolling and crawling via — that you could get a sense of what it seemed like and what it felt like and the thing I hear individuals say most commonly is 'I didn't know it is so small.' "

The bomber and crew touch down Tuesday, Sept. four and dwell through Sunday, Sept. 9, at the northwest ordinary aviation ramp close Signature Flight assist at the airport, talked about Joey O'Rourke, Laughlin/Bullhead overseas Airport assistant director. 

the public will be able to climb aboard the B-17 Bomber to be taught and adventure the stories of courage and service of its crews right through probably the most important periods in U.S. historical past.

"We're so enthralled with the (Commemorative Air drive Museum) coming in as a part of their summer season Flying Legends of Victory Tour," O'Rourke observed. "we love the neighborhood to come back out to the airport and revel in the plane and we're satisfied to have a spot to screen the aircraft for the neighborhood and all aviation enthusiasts. It's a chance for americans to peer antique WWII aircraft and probably take a flight. and the way cool is it to stand up shut and personal with a piece of history?"

The background is what makes a tour or flight on the plane so special, Mueller stated.

"It's experiencing in some very small manner what the men that flew these in combat experienced," Mueller noted. "We inform our passengers they're going to be flying in this plane for 20 minutes at 1,000 ft above the floor in pleasant ambient temperatures. On the B17 in WWII, these guys flew eight-hour missions at 26,000 feet at minus-30 levels — there's no heat within the plane, it's no longer pressurized and oh, by the way, individuals were shooting at them." 

Sentimental experience was originally manufactured and delivered to the U.S. army Air Forces for struggle provider in 1944 where she flew missions in the Pacific Theater. After the struggle, the aircraft became flown for working towards, checking out and at-sea rescue missions however eventually became bought for surplus and used as a fireplace bomber. In 1978, Sentimental journey turned into bought by a CAF member and donated to the newly fashioned Arizona CAF unit, the place the aircraft turned into restored and is operated by all-volunteer Arizona CAF membership crews.

"They're complicated airplanes to fly," Mueller observed. "Most of our pilots are airline pilots who do this as an avocation. It's an incredibly complicated aircraft to fly however the pilots in fact relish doing it and that they make a fiscal obligation to the plane as we all do, as crew individuals. The aircraft are meticulously and lovingly maintained." 

The company's mission is to retain aircraft certainly of the WWII era, to teach people via flying the plane and proposing rides, and to honor the veterans who flew, constructed and maintained the plane through WWII.

"i would like most americans to remove respect for the people who served on these plane," Mueller spoke of. "That's what's truly vital to us, to support individuals recognize the sacrifices that they made and the kinds of things that they went via to keep our freedom all the way through WWII."

Tour hours are 2 to six p.m. Sept. 4, 9 a.m. to six p.m. Sept. 5-6 and 2 to six p.m. Sept. 7-9.

Rides are available from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday and require reservations made online at

excursions are $10 per person and $20 for a family unit of 4. Flight seats are $425 per waist compartment seats and $850 for bombardier/navigator seats within the nose and are limited to eight passengers per flight. 

"each dollar we take up is used for these aircraft and to preserve them," Mueller stated. "They're very expensive plane to keep and fly and also you don't go right down to B-17s-R-Us and buy materials for it. a lot of people don't desire or can't find the money for the flight, it's now not low priced, however please come out and notice the aircraft, take images and take a tour.  Ask questions of the crew who're there to reply questions."


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