World War II B-17 bomber on display, taking flight this weekend in Pensacola

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Locals in Pensacola can soon experience world history at 1,500 feet.

The Liberty Foundation, a nonprofit flying museum with a goal of honoring veterans and preserving aviation history, has made a stop in Pensacola for the upcoming weekend.

With it comes a World War II B-17 Flying Fortress and a P-51 Mustang, which will be made available for public flying and ground tours at the Pensacola Aviation Center on Saturday and Sunday. The center is located at 4145 Jerry L Maygarden Rd.

The B-17 was the workhorse of the Allies’ strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany, according to the Liberty Foundation.

There are fewer than 12 worldwide, so flying in one could be a once in a lifetime experience, said its pilot Ray Fowler.

“The B-17 is historically the most famous bomber that’s ever been built,” he said.

Guests can take a flight in the B-17, starting at $450 per person. They can also tour it on the ground for free.

The tour allows guests to see the cockpit, gunners stations and walk across the bomb bay.

Fowler tells News 5 the cost of operating a B-17 and planes like it could soon ground them. Insurance cost alone cost $200,000 a year. He said that’s a shame because flying in one of the planes beats seeing them inside a museum any day.

“It’s just not the same as going out and seeing the airplane start up and billow all the smoke out of the back,” he said. “To climb in, to have the smells, to go fly around in the airplane — that really is something that is a unique privilege.”

Check out Liberty Foundation at libertyfoundation.org or contact them at 678-589-7433.

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