GREAT FALLS — The Arizona Base Commemorative Air Force has brought an iconic World War II B-17 bomber named "Sentimental Journey" to Great Falls.
The plane - dubbed the Flying Fortess during the war - landed on Monday and will be available for ground tours and rides.
The historic plane will be stationed at Holman Aviation.
Shelby Bolke, the loadmaster for the plane, said that keeping this piece of aviation history alive and flying is important, pointing out that the heroes who flew these planes during the war "gave me a free world to grow up in."
- July 27 – August 4: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m
- August 5: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- $10 per person/$20 for a family of 4
- Purchase tour tickets at the airplane, no reservation required.
- August 5 – August 6: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- $425 per waist compartment seat (6 available)
- $850 per Bombardier/Navigator seat (2 available)
- Click here to reserve a ride
From the CAF website:
Designed for daylight precision bombing, B-17s flew unescorted bombing missions over Europe for much of the war. B-17s were legendary for their ability to return home after taking brutal poundings. They dropped over 640,000 tons of bombs over Europe.
A total of 12,731 B-17s produced by Boeing, Vega, and Douglas. Our Sentimental Journey is one of only five B-17s around the world actively flying today and was built in November, 1944.
Post-War: After World War II, B-17s were used for other military purposes including photo-mapping, atmospheric nuclear weapon testing drone control, fighting forest fires, and other civilian purposes.
There will also be merchandise and souvenirs for visitors to buy; all proceeds go toward keeping this and other CAF planes flying.