Board a Flying Fortress

A legendary World War II-era B-17 Flying Fortress takes to the skies this weekend.
    “This is the closest thing you can get to the battlefield experience,” said Bob Hill, chief Liberty Foundation pilot.
    The B-17 was a workhorse in bombing raids over Germany in World War II. Some 4,735 B-17 aircraft were lost in combat during the war.  The bombers’ 10-man crews flew each mission knowing there was a 3-to-1 probability they would not return safely.
    Take a flight and you rotate through all eight non-pilot crew positions. You’ll be armed with a 50-caliber machine gun. Every B-17 crewman had dual responsibilities to defend the aircraft from attacking fighter planes while dropping bombs, navigating, working the radio or loading more ordnance.
    Guests often come to experience what their father or grandfather did. “If you feel the hair on the back of your neck standing up,” Hill said, “that’s your loved one standing right there behind you.”

Sat. Aug. 30 and Sun. Aug. 31 10am-5pm, Martin State Airport., Middle River; 30-minute morning flights $450; afternoon ground tours free: 918-340-0243.