At Seattle’s Museum of Flight you can experience flying a B-17

23 Jun

 

This weekend at Seattle’s Museum of Flight we are being granted the opportunity to experience the most innovative aircraft of World War II. The B-17 Flying Fortress bomber that saw action throughout the war where it went on everything from bombing runs to search & rescue missions. The version of the famous bomber that the museum offers is the 8th and most technically advanced incarnation of the flying fortress with its remote controlled “chin turret” that highly improved the forward weapons system.

“I’ve never gone through the horrific experiences he’s gone through,” Kevin Jones said to the pilots when him and his 94-year-old father, who flew 88 missions on a B-17, when they went on a flight Friday.

Late in World War II some of the bombers that had taken out of service face the fate of becoming drones. In what was deemed as operation Aphrodite the bombers were fitted with cameras and 2,000 pounds of explosives where they would be used as remote controlled bombs into strategic targets in Germany. Since refitting the flying fortress was a huge expense and the operation wasn’t a much of a success as was hoped and was scraped.

After World War II ended the B-17 were soon put to pasture where a good number of them were sold for scrap and melted down. Some of them did see a better fate when they where put into service for the newly developed Strategic Air Command for reconnaissance, VIP transports and search & rescue aircraft. A few B-17s even went on to joined the CIA after the war where some of them became know as Air America and other where used in mission over Asia.

If you do go to the museum it is $12 for adults, $6 for children 12 & under, free for WWII vets. 30 minute flights of the B-17 and B-24 are conducted between 9 a.m. And 5 p.m. Daily through the weekend at a cost of $425.

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