‘Historical ride flights:’ You can climb aboard a WWII B-17 bomber in Waukesha this weekend

WAUKESHA -- A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has landed at the Waukesha County Airport. A World War II B-17 bomber will be on display and offering flights this weekend. The event honors our country's veterans.

"It's one of the few still air-worthy and flying around the United States. I hope people come out and see the airplane and enjoy it, and I hope it inspires people," said Bob Hill, pilot.

Bob Hill

The B-17 bomber is a rare bird these days, but the 74-year-old war-time plane is still flying missions.

"We provide historical ride flights to the public," said Hill.

This weekend, it'll be stationed in Waukesha.

"In real life, it's so much smaller in the interior," said Hill.

Hill is a volunteer pilot with the Liberty Foundation, the nonprofit organization operating the flying museum. On Monday, July 9, the flight crew led a press tour through the flying fortress, and conditions are cramped.

"The room, as limited as it is, was much more limited in World War II because they had ammo boxes and oxygen bottles everywhere, all around the airplane. There was very limited movement," said Hill.

On Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15, you can tour the plane for yourself.

"We don't charge for the ground tours. We just do it by donations," said Keith Youngblood, Liberty Foundation.

If you want the ultimate history lesson, for $450, you can purchase a ticket for a flying tour.

"Giving rides in the air Saturday and Sunday starting about 10:00  each day -- fly up until about 3:00," said Youngblood.

$450 isn't cheap, but it does cost $5,000 per hour to fly and maintain this antique warplane.