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Rob Taylor/The Daily Reflector

The "Memphis Belle" B-17 "Flying Fortress" Bomber sits on the tarmac prior to taking flight for the media tour at Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport in Burlington, NC, Monday, September 16, 2013. (Rob Taylor/The Daily Reflector)

WWII plane offering public flights, tours

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BURLINGTON — The Liberty Foundation’s original B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber will be in North Carolina for a living museum exhibition on Saturday and Sunday.

The Memphis Belle, used in the 1989 film of the same name, will be available to the public for ground tours and public flights at Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. with advance reservations.


Of the 12,732 B-17 bombers constructed between 1935 and 1945, 4,735 were lost in combat during World War II. The Memphis Belle bomber, built toward the end of the war, is one of only 13 B-17s still in the air today.

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Comments

Not the original Memphis Belle

The original Memphis Belle is being restored in Dayton, Ohio after years of being left outside. For 30 years it was stored in front of the National Guard Armory in Memphis. I saw it several times a week as a child and young adult. It was in poor repair and was restored and put on display outside, but under cover. The original Memphis Belle will never fly again, but will make a great static display. This B 17 was a later model used in the 1990 "Memphis Belle" movie. That does not lessen the bravery of those Army Air Corp flyers and the debt we owe them. Making 25 missions without being shot down was quite rare for the first years of the war. Thanks to all the WWII veterans that are still alive and to those like my dad who have passed on. Thanks to all the other veterans who have served our country.

First Flight in Burlington

One of the first flights they gave on this trip was to a waist gunner who was in a B17 on D-Day. Appropriate I'd say. Thanks to all WWII veterans for their service.

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Bless your heart
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