Though it never flew during World War II, the Memphis Belle can still give passengers a taste of what some members of the Greatest Generation experienced during the last world war.
The bomber is a restored WWII B-17 "flying fortress" that will be available for public flights on Saturday and Sunday, March 2-3, at DeKalb Peachtree Airport (PDK). It was also the centerpiece of the 1990 film Memphis Belle.
The Liberty Foundation maintains the plane as a traveling, living history exhibit. Only 11 B17s remain airworthy in North America, said the organization's Ron Cause.
Three WWII veterans were on hand for the Memphis Belle's Media Day at PDK - Guy Gunter, who flew glider missions behind enemy lines on D-Day and the invasion of Sicily; Rudolph Phillips, who served in the Air Force from 1942-46; and Herman Bodenheimer, who will be 100 this October.
"Our B-17 mission for today is to educate the people of America about the courageous WWII veterans, and remember those brave aircrew who never made it home," said Cause. "The Memphis Belle is a living museum, our heritage not in mothballs or the pages of a dusty book, but real life, three dimensions, here and now."
Flights are $450 per person on March 2 and 3.