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Stepping back in time

By Ann M. Simmons

Aircraft enthusiasts will have an opportunity to step back in time and experience a flight aboard a replica World War II Boeing B-17 bomber and North American P-51 Mustang fighter this weekend when the historic planes take to the skies over Los Angeles. The public will also have a chance to view the aircraft from the ground during the April 12-13 tours organized by the Liberty Foundation, a non-profit flying museum.

Dubbed the Flying Fortress as a result of its defensive firepower, the B-17 saw action in every theater of operation during World War II, according to information provided by the Liberty Foundation. The organization’s B-17 “Memphis Belle” was built toward the end of the war and never saw y combat. It is one of only 14 such aircraft that still fly today.

The P-51 Mustang was a long-range, single-seat American fighter and fighter-bomber. It participated in several conflicts, including the Korean War and War World II, where it escorted bombers in raids over Germany in late 1943, according to the Liberty Foundation.

This weekend’s public flights and ground tours will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The B-17 experience will last around 45 minutes and cost $410 for Liberty Foundation members and $450 for non-members. A 20-minute flight in the P-51 will cost $1,595 for members.

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