Airport prepares for open house with World War II bomber tour.

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DARDEN, Tenn.– A World War II bomber will take off its rain covers for the Beech River Regional Airport open house Saturday morning. “She may be 70-years-old but she’s in excellent condition,” said Jim Ritchie, flight crew chief. That she is a B-17 bomber, at the beech river regional airport. “we do tours nationwide tours in this aircraft. We stop in various cities 40 to 50 cities every summer,”said Jim Kimmel, Aircraft Commander. According to the commemorative air force, the B-17 flew further and performed better than military engineers expected. “It came with the four engine design and bowing were the one to present that. So it was a revolutionary change in combat capability or aircraft capability in it’s day,” said Kimmel. That lead to its use in world war two. This was the first airplane to show up in England ready to take the war to Hitler’s fortress Europe,” said Kimmel. According to the Commemorative Air Force this b-17 g is about 17 feet long with a 104 foot wingspan. It was used mostly for strategic bombing. “These were 17 to 21 year old kids. My father was 26 and he was considered old for a pilot,” said Ritchie That’s why flight crew chief Jim Ritchie is passionate about the retired war plan’s current mission. “We like to instill in them the importance of not only the airplane but the importance of that generation that went to war in this aircraft,” said Ritchie.

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