Historic WWII aircraft on display in West Tennessee
DARDEN, Tenn. — One of the most iconic warplanes from World War II made a landing in West Tennessee as part of a traveling museum experience. The public is welcome to climb aboard for this unique tour.
“This is a flying museum piece that we share with people in their home town. This one was actually delivered after the war in mapping and search and rescue,” pilot Larry Perkins said.
The Flying Fortress Sentimental Journey is one of 10 B-17 aircraft left in the entire world out of over 12,000 that were manufactured for combat.
The traveling WWII B-17 museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday and is ran entirely by volunteers.
“If people want to come out, they can actually climb in the airplane,” Perkins said. “They can see the nose and where the bombardier and navigator sat and the rear end of the airplane. They can bump their head on things like we do, and there are lots of things to look at.”
“There are 13 .50-caliber Browning machine guns,” Perkins said. “You’ve heard the saying ‘the whole nine yards.’ That saying came from the .50-caliber belts. They were 27 feet long — nine yards — so the pilots would come back and say ‘I hit them with the whole nine yards, and he flew away.'”
Flights in the aircraft are available for a once-in-a-lifetime experience but will cost you a pretty penny.
“To ride in the waste gun area is $425, and to ride in the nose and the best view of the airplane is $850,” Perkins said.
The aircraft is free to the public to visit and walk through, but they do ask for a monetary donation of $5.