June 27, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — It is easy to spot on the tarmac. The iconic tail design, the four, massive Wright Cyclone engines on the forward wing. Guns sticking out of the dark green fuselage, looking like evil stingers awaiting their airborne prey. Its Plexiglas bubble nose with a bombardier’s eye mounted inside. Just behind that, a hastily painted figure of a pin up girl.
It reads “Memphis Belle” underneath. Directly behind that, a neatly painted row of bombs, some with swastikas under them, signifying an enemy kill was made on that mission. All of this lined up under the Captain’s side window.
On Saturday and Sunday, B-17F, also known as the Memphis Belle, will be offering Legacy Flights out of the Wheeler Downtown Airport for $450. Owned by the Liberty Foundation in Tulsa, Okla., flights last roughly 45 minutes, 30 minutes of which are actually air time. The plane on display and giving rides is the same that was used in the 1989 film of the same name. Flights can be scheduled by calling 918-340-0243 or simply by going by the flight deck, located at 10 Richards Road. Tours of the Belle are free but a donation is suggested in order to keep the majestic heavy bomber flying. For more information on this Memphis Belle, visit www.libertyfoundation.org/index.html.