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The B-17 Flying Fortress takes to Denver skies

7:57 AM, Jun 9, 2011   |    comments
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The Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" is a World War II Bomber primarily used in Europe. During the war, these planes were the most modern and sophisticated when it came to aerial warfare.

Able to fly for eight hours at a time, carrying 1,700 gallons of fuel and depending on types of bombs, their maximum load could go to 8,000 lbs. If the B-17 was equipped with external racks, maximum normal short-range bomb load could go as high as 17,600 lbs.

9NEWS Traffic Reporter Amelia Earhart and 9NEWS Meteorologist Marty Coniglio - who are both pilots and aviation enthusiasts - had the opportunity to take a flight in the B-17 at Centennial Airport.

The crew took off and cruised over Denver landmarks like Chatfield Reservoir and Arrowhead Golf Course. The flight lasted about 25 minutes. As soon as the take-off is complete, you are able to get up and walk around the aircraft. Once unbuckled, passengers are able to explore all parts of the plane, from the waist gunner room to the radio room, the bomb bays, the cockpit and the bombardier.

There are countless opportunities to take photos, video and ask the crew questions during the flight. One of the most surprising aspects of the flight is how loud the engine roars. Most people on the flight wore earplugs, and no one could talk without yelling. It really gives you a sense of how difficult communication during flight must have been during combat.

Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum is celebrating the return of the B-17 to Denver, and they have many opportunities for you to get an up close and personal view of the plane and even take a flight.

From June 9 through June 13, daily flights are made each morning and early afternoon, with ground tours following the last flight.

Reserved Flights:

  • $399 per Person (EAA Members)
  • $439 Non-Members
  • Walk-up prices $425 and $465

For details on the flight, call (800) 359-6217 If you would like a ground tour or to watch the B-17 as it takes off and lands, head to Signature Flight Support, 8001 S. Interport Blvd., Englewood, CO, located on the southeast side of Centennial Airport off Peoria St. Watch for the B-17 signs.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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