Restored WWII B-17 Bomber Will Take Flight Over Casper
A restored World War II B-17 Bomber will be taking to the skies over Casper in May, and the public will have a chance to experience the "Flying Fortress" and its history with a tour, or even a flight. The Liberty Foundation will be bringing in the "Madras Maiden" B-17 as part of its "Salute To Veterans Tour". It's one of only twelve B-17's that are still flying today. There were 12,732 of the aircraft produced between 1935 and 1945.
The Liberty Foundation describes its reason for creating public awareness of the B-17:
"Seventy-two years ago these aircraft flew from bases far from home in an attempt to bring freedom to oppressed people. Our B-17's mission for today is to educate the people of America about the courageous WWII veterans, and remember those brave aircrew who never made it home. "Madras Maiden" is a living museum, our heritage not in mothballs or the pages of a dusty book, but real life, three dimensions, here and now. You are invited to come touch the past and fly through ageless skies."
The public flights and tours will take place on May 13th, at the Natrona County International Airport. These "missions" will start with a pre-flight safety briefing that includes the historical significance of the aircraft, and the half-hour flight around the city. Officials say passengers will be able to move about the aircraft to various combat crew positions, and "see the viewpoint that thousands of our heroes saw in combat over 70 years ago."
There is no charge for the ground tours, just a donation box. The Liberty Foundation says they want to share the history with everyone and they encourage them to bring the family. The flights are $410.00 for Liberty Foundation members, and $450.00 for non-members.Though the Liberty Foundation, a non-profit organization, acknowledges that sounds expensive, they encourage people to compare it to the B-17's operating cost of more than $5000.00 per flight hour for the flying museum.
Although the public flights and ground tours will be available on Saturday, May 13th, you may see and hear the unique aircraft the afternoon Monday, May 8th. They will be giving media tours, and K2 Radio's Susan Burk and Nick Learned will be on board to bring you the experience in sight and sound.