A piece of Second World War aviation history should be winging her way into Penticton sometime around midday Monday, July 27.
Appropriately named Sentimental Journey, the B-17G bomber is scheduled to be flying the friendly skies over Penticton with paid flights for the public through Aug. 2.
Believed to be one of only five or six such aircraft in the world still in the air, the plane is on a western swing as part of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) international tour.
Based in Mesa, Ariz. this is the second time the CAF has brought one of their unique warbirds to the Peach City.
Like the 2014 visit of the CAF B-25J bomber, Maid in the Shade, this year’s visit is organized by the Penticton Flying Club.
“We only had good comments last year, the whole thing was very positive and the response from the public was excellent,” said club vice president Ed Festel. “It was very successful. We’re kind of part of their schedule now and the flights for people are a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.”
B-17s were initially dubbed “flying fortress” shortly after they began rolling off the assembly line in 1935 at the Boeing plant in Seattle, Wa.
During the Second World War the aircraft flew in both the European and Asian theatres.
While in Penticton, each day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the public will have an opportunity to tour the aircraft, talk with the volunteer crew who fly it and go for a ride.
The CAF got involved in aircraft restoration to preserve in flying condition a complete collection of combat airplanes as a way to educate and reconnect people with the living history as well as pay homage to the sacrifices of the veterans who flew them.
Sentimental Journey is just one of the planes which make up what is called the CAF Ghost Squadron.
Costs of the flights (in U.S. dollars) are $425 for radio room/waist gunner and $850 for navigator/bombardier and can be arranged at the airport site.