I have a new girlfriend. She is a movie star and worth over $5.5M. I went on a short ride with her around the East Bay Monday, and fell in love. Memphis Belle (N37O3G) is the actual B-17 used in the 1990 movie Memphis Belle, with Matthew Modine (available in Blue Ray in May). Her original namesake on which the movie is based is under repair. But my Memphis Belle is a sweetheart.
She and a sporty P-51 Mustang are currently stationed at the Hayward Executive Airport thru, April 26-27 and will be flying the San Francisco skies, with public flights and ground tours. Be sure to visit the airfield this weekend, donate, and checkout the Liberty Foundation website. Call for more information at 918-340-0243.
If you want to take a ride, you can purchase a 45 minute ride on the B-17 for $450, and a 20-minute ride on the P-51 costs $1,595; expensive, but an experience you’ll never forget.
The Liberty Foundation spends over $1.5M a year to keep its aircraft airworthy. The B-17 costs $5,500 per hour of flight and the P-51 around $3,300 per hour of flight.
With the production of 12,732 made during WWII, my Memphis Belle, is one of only 14 B-17s that still fly today. As a member of the 91st bomb group of the 8th Air Force, the original Memphis Belle was the first to complete 25 missions during WWII over occupied Europe and Germany. The plane I flew in was hired in 1989 to star in the movie about those last missions.
I had the privilege to take a ride with 10 other media representatives and it was a full senses experience, let me tell you. The fumes and noise, the DNA collectors (the bulkheads you in evitably hit your head on, the sight of the engine props, and the excitement of crawling into the nose canopy after takeoff, helping Phil to the navigator seat. Great Ride. I want one.
Preflight visiting included chatting with a very fit Phil Arnot, now 90 years old, who hadn’t flow in a B-17 since he was a co-pilot in WWII. He had some stories. See the clips below.
See clips of Phil reminiscing, inflight clips, and pictures below