History on the wing

A crew member climbs out of the cockpit of the WWII B-17G bomber, “Sentimental Journey,” near its distinctive nose art of Betty Grable. The vintage airplane arrived Monday at the Santa Maria Public Airport is scheduled to be on display and available for rides and tours through

Abit of history landed at the Santa Maria Public Airport Monday when the Boeing B-17G “Sentimental Journey” arrived under rapidly graying skies.

The World War II vintage bomber is part of the Commemorative Air Force’s Arizona Wing and is considered one of the most thoroughly restored of just a handful of B-17s still flying. The bomber gives Santa Maria residents an opportunity to see, touch and feel a piece of WWII history.

“Sentimental Journey,” which is based at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, Ariz., last visited Santa Maria in 2010.

Tours of the plane will be available through Thursday for a donation. Rides aboard the Flying Fortress start at $425 and can be reserved by calling (602) 448-1499.

The plane is parked adjacent to the Santa Maria Radisson Hotel.

June 5, 2012

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