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Historic WWII plane arrives in Montana for tours and rides

B-17 Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey" in Helena (June 2023)
B-17 Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey" in Helena (June 2023)
Posted at 5:56 PM, Jun 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-20 19:56:46-04

HELENA — A historic WWII airplane - the B-17 Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey" - landed at Helena Regional Airport on Monday, June 19, 2023, and will be there through June 25.

The plane is based in Arizona and belongs to the Commemorative Air Force, which restores and preserves World War II-era combat aircraft.

Some of planes are taken on "tour" each summer around the country for people to learn about, explore, and even ride.

GROUND TOURS
Tue-Thur: 9p – 5p
Fri-Sun: 2p – 6p
$15 per person/$30 for a family of 4
Purchase tour tickets at the trailer, no reservation required.

Rides in the plane are available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am until 1pm. Click here for more information.

The Commemorative Air Force website includes this overview of the bomber:

Designed for daylight precision bombing, B-17s flew unescorted bombing missions over Europe for much of the war. B-17s were legendary for their ability to return home after taking brutal poundings. They dropped over 640,000 tons of bombs over Europe. A total of 12,731 B-17s produced by Boeing, Vega, and Douglas. Our Sentimental Journey is one of only five B-17s around the world actively flying today and was built in November, 1944. Post-War: After World War II, B-17s were used for other military purposes including photo-mapping, atmospheric nuclear weapon testing drone control, fighting forest fires, and other civilian purposes.

There will also be merchandise and souvenirs for visitors to buy; all proceeds go toward keeping this and other CAF planes flying.