The World War II Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Madras Maiden” will be seen and heard over Colorado Springs May 27-28, thanks to the Liberty Foundation, an Oklahoma-based nonprofit. The 501(c)3 “flying museum” will be offering public flights and ground tours during it’s Colorado Springs stop. Hours of operation during the two days are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The B-17 flight experience takes 45 minutes with approximately half hour in flight, according to a news release from the foundation.
B-17 Flights are $410 for Liberty Foundation members and $450 for non-members. Passengers can become a Liberty Foundation Member for $40 and receive the member discount for family and friends. The B-17’s operating cost is more than $5,000 per flight hour, according to the release, adding the Liberty Foundation spends more than $1.5 million annually to keep the B-17 airworthy and on tour.
The Liberty Foundation’s B-17 “Madras Maiden” is one of only 12 B-17’s that still fly today, according to the release.
“The B-17 dubbed the ‘Flying Fortress’ as a result of her defensive fire power saw action in every theater of operation during WWII. The majority of all WWII B-17’s were operated by the 8th Airforce in Europe and participated in countless missions from bases in England deep into enemy territory,” the release states. “There were 12,732 B-17’s produced between 1935 and 1945, of these 4,735 were lost in combat. Following WWII, the B-17 saw combat in three more wars, B-17’s saw service in Korea, Israel used them in the war of 1948 and they were even used during Vietnam.”
“Madras Maiden” was built toward the end of the war and never saw any combat. It is painted in the colors of the 381st Bomb Group. The 381st BG flew 297 operational missions during the war, dropping 22,000 tons of bombs. During this time they lost 131 B-17’s and downed over 223 enemy aircraft.
For more information on the “Madras Maiden’s” tour, visit the Liberty Foundation’s webpage.