WWII Planes Make Pit Stop In Sioux Falls
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
July 12, 2013 6:18 PM
A pair of planes that definitely stick out at the Sioux Falls Airport, the B-17 and the B-24, both carry bombs and guns. And these war birds have plenty of stories to tell.
“They're the most produced American airplane ever built, over 18,000 of them,” said B-24 pilot Jim Harley.
But, you won't see too many B-24's around.
“There are only 13 in existence and only one of them is flying. So, this is the queen of our fleet,” said Harley.
While there is plenty of heavy artillery on the B-17, the plane was never used in World War II, it was actually used on search and rescue missions when planes were flying back from Europe.
There's not too much space for moving around in the belly of these aircrafts. Most of the room is taken up by old bombs and gun mounts. But, the remaining space is used for people to get a closer look at history.
“We bring it to you and allow you to climb through them, go for flights in them, touch them, see them, go through all the crew positions and see what all the crew had to do to fight the war and win,” said Harley.
Running a one of kind plane doesn't come cheap. The B-24 costs over $4,000 every flight hour. But, one pilot says it’s all worth it to honor veterans.
“That's why we do it. It’s for the veterans. This tour was founded for the veterans and anytime we get them out on the ramp which is rare now, it's a privilege. And it’s an honor to have them out,” said Harley.
A piece of history gliding into Sioux Falls, giving a chance for a younger generation to appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans.
The planes will be in Sioux Falls until Sunday and can be reached through Landmark Aviation.