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WWII 'Memphis Belle' B-17 bomber offering rides

A rare piece of World War II history is in West Jordan for a week. One of the remaining 13 flyable B-17 bombers is at the South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan. It will be available for public rides and tours.
 (ABC 4 News)
(ABC 4 News)
 (ABC 4 News)
(ABC 4 News)
 (Don Hudson)
(Don Hudson)
Liberty Belle B-17 Flying Fortess lands in Salt Lake City (Wade Francom, ABC 4 News)
Liberty Belle B-17 Flying Fortess lands in Salt Lake City (Wade Francom, ABC 4 News)
 (Don Hudson)
(Don Hudson)
WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A rare piece of World War II history is in West Jordan for a week.  One of the remaining 13 flyable B-17 bombers is at the South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan.  It will be available for public rides and tours.

Flights lasting approximately 30 minutes will cost $450.  The public is also invited to watch the plane take off and land free of charge.  Flight and tour information is below in bold lettering.  

The plane dubbed "Memphis Belle" is an example of the main tool used to defeat Nazi tyranny.

These planes were also called nicknamed the "Flying Fortress" because of her defensive fire power.  They saw action in every theater of operation during WWII and saw combat in three more wars, B-17's saw service in Korea, Israel used them in the war of 1948 and it was even used during Vietnam, according to the Liberty Foundation. 

There were 12,732 B-17's produced between 1935 and 1945, of these 4,735 were lost in combat, according to the Liberty Foundation. 

Thousands of United States airmen died flying and fighting in these planes over Europe to protect freedom.

According to the Liberty Foundation, The "Memphis Belle" in West Jordan was built toward the end of WWII and never saw any combat.  It is painted in the colors and nose art of the original "Memphis Belle" B-17 that flew countless missions with 91st bomb group of the mighty 8th Airforce, and was the first B-17 to complete 25 missions.

Call 918-340-0243 to sign up for a ride on the B-17 "Memphis Belle".  Flights are scheduled for May 18 and 19 at the South Valley Regional Airport Leading Edge Aviation at 7365 South 4450 West in West Jordan. 

The B-17 flight experience includes 25-30 minutes of flight time.  You will experience the sights, sounds and viewpoint that our WWII heroes saw during combat over 70 years ago.  

Ground tours will start following each days flights. 

Below is information about flying on the "Memphis Belle", according to a Liberty Foundation news release:

The Liberty Foundation's B-17 provides visitors the opportunity to take a step back in time and gain respect for the men and women who gave so much to protect our freedoms.  At each stop, flight "missions" are available in the Memphis Belle, which allow people to take flights in this historic aircraft.  During flight operations, there will be a designated, secure area for those who would like to watch the aircraft flights at no charge.  For enthusiasts that choose to take a flight experience on this legendary aircraft, these participants receive a pre-flight safety briefing containing the historical significance of the aircraft and a spectacular scenic air tour around the city.  During the flight, passengers enjoy the unique opportunity of moving about the aircraft to the different combat crew positions to see the viewpoint that thousands of our heroes saw in combat over 60 years ago.

World War II was the single greatest challenged to freedom in the 20th Century.  Through the 46 months of war, over 300,000 American soldiers, sailors and aviators died defending the beliefs that they held dear, with many more sacrificing in other ways.  These men became our heroes through their struggles and came home to a grateful nation.  Over the half century since, those heroes became our husbands, uncles, fathers and grandfathers; in many cases their stories were never shared with their families.  Now with the popularity of movies like "Pearl Harbor" and the Steven Ambrose book "The Wild Blue", families are seeking to learn more about our veterans.  They realize that these stories of courage and valor need to be preserved for future generations.  Estimates place the number of World War II veterans dying each day at over 1,500.  with each death, another story of courage, honor and sacrifice is lost forever.  This aircraft represents that legacy of courage and valor.

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.

The Liberty Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit flying museum and funds generated merely help offset these high cost.  Only the public's interest and other generous donations keep this historic aircraft flying and from being silenced permanently in a museum for years to come.  Hopefully, for years to come!

This is your invitation to see, tour and fly a mission and take advantage of this ultimate historical experience, come touch the past and fly thorough ageless skies.
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