Rare WWII bombers flying at Deer Valley Airport

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 7:41 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 13 at 3:41 PM

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PHOENIX – History and aviation buffs will want to make sure to visit Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix Wednesday or Thursday because the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force will be flying three historic World War II bombers.

Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Museum, which is located in Mesa, is home to the famous Sentimental Journey, a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress. Every summer, an average of 80,000 people tour Sentimental Journey, which is the most fully restored B-17 in the air today.

Sentimental Journey is one of the three rare planes at Deer Valley Airport. Joining it are Fifi, a B-29 Superfortress, and Maid in the Shade, a TB-25N Mitchell. Fifi is the only B-29 in the world that is still flying. Maid in the Shade flew nearly 15 missions out of Corsica during WWII, most of them over Italy.

Not only can you see these amazing planes, you can take a ride on one of them. The cost is $395 to $1,295, depending on the plane and the seat.

In between flights, the aircraft will be on display and open for tours. The tours are $5 for adults and $3 for children.

“We are here for the young people to understand what WWII was about, what these planes did for us, our freedom,” said Donna Brown, who is part of Sentimental Journey’s crew.

Deer Valley Airport is located at 702 W. Deer valley Road, Phoenix.

After the event at Deer Valley Airport, Sentimental Journey and Maid in the Shade will move to Chandler Airport for the annual Chandler Airport Dayz celebration this weekend. That event will also feature an SNJ Trainer and an L-16, both of which were used to train pilots during WWII.

The military planes at both shows are in the care of the Commemorative Air Force, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that was founded with the sole purpose of acquiring, restoring and preserving aircraft flown by the U.S. military through the years.

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