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World War II-era Flying Fortress to visit ABQ

A B-17G Flying Fortress will be in Albuquerque on May 13-15 for the public to see. (Courtesy of Experimental Aircraft Association)

A B-17G Flying Fortress will be in Albuquerque on May 13-15 for the public to see. (Courtesy of Experimental Aircraft Association)

Its wingspan is 103 feet, 9 inches.

The length is 74 feet, 4 inches.

And its capacity for fuel is 1,700 gallons.

For years, Boeing’s B-17G Flying Fortress flew many missions during World War II.

In fact, it served in almost every theater of World War II and was used mostly by what is now the U.S. 8th Air Force, based in the United Kingdom, to bombard German targets. It became a formidable weapon in the Allied war against Germany.

And one of the planes will be in the Duke City for the public to view.

Rick Richter, a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, says being able to host the plane gives the community an opportunity to see how massive the planes were.

“We have a lot of vets come out here and take a ride,” he says. “It’s like nothing else. And it’s great to hear the stories of these men who flew in the planes. Their stories of survival are amazing.”

Richter has also helmed many flights in a B-17.

The Flying Fortress was designed in response to a U.S. Army Air Corps competition in 1934. The competition was to find a modern replacement for the twin-engine Keystone biplane bombers.

The B-17G was produced in greater numbers than any other model, and more of them were lost than any other model.

Richter says the public will have an opportunity to tour one May 13-15 at Double Eagle II Airport.

The event doesn’t happen too often, and Richter says that in 2015, one of the planes was brought to Albuquerque to get fixed.

“I worked on the plane,” he says. “There are not many around, and it gives children a chance to see them in person and get inspired by aviation.”

For more information on the tours and rides, visit b17.org or call 800-359-6217.






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