By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — She was a flying fortress during World War II. One of the most famous planes in U.S. military history is in Baltimore this weekend.

Ron Matz has more on the momentous “Memphis Belle.”

The Memphis Belle is the famous Boeing B-17F that completed 25 combat missions during World War II and brought home all of its crew.

“There’s something very special about the B-17F. This aircraft could endure an incredible amount of damage, some of the other bombers weren’t quite as tough,” said Keith Youngblood, Liberty Foundation Volunteer.

“This would have been manned by 10 men in combat at 25,000 or 30,000 feet. These guys would have been exposed to negative 30 up to negative 60 degree temperatures anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. They were fighting the environment just as much as they were fighting the enemy,” Youngblood said.

You can see a replica of the B-17F at Martin State Airport this weekend. Take a ground tour or even take a flight.

“You can fly in it this weekend here at Martin State Airport.  We do charge $450 per person. We’ll start both Saturday and Sunday at about 10 a.m. each morning. We’ll probably be flying to around 3 p.m. Once we’re done with the flights we’ll open it up to ground tours and folks can just walk through it,” Youngblood said.

“The Memphis Belle was famous for being the first aircraft to complete 25 missions. This airplane has been painted up to honor the original Memphis Belle crew,” Youngblood said.

It is the same one used in the 1990 movie.

“The B-17 flight experience includes 25 to 30 minutes of flight time, and for many it’s a bucket list item,” Youngblood said.

Experiencing the sights and sounds of the flying fortress is something to see.

“The plane really comes alive. It’s really an assault on all your senses. Some people say you can’t taste it. You stand behind it when we fire up the engines, you’ll taste it,” Youngblood said.

For more information about this weekend’s activities surrounding the Memphis Belle, click here.

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