GARDEN CITY, Kansas – A WWII Bomber is in Garden City as part of a commemorative tour.
“It’s more or less a museum, a living flying museum,” said Flight Engineer Jim Ritchie. “You can get inside of it, you can smell it, touch it, you can hear it run.”
It only took a 20 minute flight for the 1944 B-17 Bomber to grab the attention of people below.
“When I saw it fly overhead I actually googled just to make sure it was here in town,” said plane enthusiast Griff Hawkinson.
Guests can take a look inside for five dollars or even go for a ride to experience the sights and sounds of flight that our bomber pilots did 70 years ago. Rides inside start at $425, but the crew said it’s a once in a lifetime experience and all the proceeds go toward the upkeep of the historic planes.
“Like anything, the older you get it takes a little more maintenance to keep you going,” Ritchie said.
This isn’t the first time the Garden City Airport runways have seen planes like this. The airport was actually built and used as an air force base from 1943 to 1946.
“Once the government was done with the land they deeded it back over to the city,” said Airport Director of Aviation Rachelle Powell, “It’s definitely a tie to history.”
The Commemorative Air Force aims to keep those ties to history in tact by sharing the rare piece of history with anyone who’s interested.
“As a kid I made models all the time,” said Hawkinson.
The crew said it’s also a special way to remember those who lost their lives in World War Two.
“We like to show it off in their honor,” said Ritchie.
The plane will be in town until Sunday, and children under 12 can tour it for free.