Warplane museum hosts B-17 starting Monday
By Mark Newman, News Staff
Officials at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum are hoping the public will want to enjoy a Sentimental Journey next week.
An American B-17 Flying Fortress by that name will be flying into the Mount Hope museum around 10 a.m. on Canada Day Monday.
“It’s a travelling museum,” said Al Mickeloff, retail and marketing manager at the CWH of the vintage Second World War era bomber that was built in 1944 and restored by the Commemorative Air Force, a CWH-like flying museum in Mesa, Arizona.
The nose art of the aircraft features the famous pinup picture of 1940s heartthrob Betty Grable.
Mickeloff said Sentimental Journey will be at the Museum from July 1-7 and should be a popular draw, particularly on Canada Day when admission to the museum will be free.
“Especially for our American visitors or aviation buffs in general,” Mickeloff said.
The B-17 is expected to fly at 1:30 p.m. on Monday and the public can climb inside the bomber for $5 with the proceeds going to help maintain the aircraft.
Mickeloff said there may be an opportunity for paid public rides on the B-17 later next week.
See: warplane.com for more information.
While the aircraft was built too late to see any action in the Second World War, it was used as a photo-mapping plane in the Pacific in the late 1940s.
In 1951 Sentimental Journey served as a mother ship aircraft in Operation Greenhouse, part of a series of nuclear weapon tests by the United States government.
The aircraft would guide an unmanned, radio-controlled drone B-17 to the target area and the drone would measure the atomic blast and collect radioactive cloud samples.
In 1959 Sentimental Journey was put in storage in Tucson, Arizona before it was acquired by the Aero Union Corporation of Chico, California where it was used for 18 years and flew thousands of missions fighting forest fires.
It was acquired by the Commemorative Air Force in Jan. 1978.