Flying Fortress lands in Tampa - FOX 13 News

Flying Fortress lands in Tampa

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It's best known as the Flying Fortress: The B-17 was the heavyweight aircraft of World War II. Almost 13,000 were produced during the war, but only 13 remain operational today.

One of those is making a landing in Tampa this weekend, as a mobile museum of America's history. The replica "Memphis Belle" -- which starred in the 1990 movie of the same name -- will be open to the public on November 10-11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The iconic heavy bomber was used extensively deep in enemy territory during the World War II. It held a crew of 10 and was often burdened by up to 6,000 pounds of bombs.

"We lost over 23,000 airmen in the B-17s, that were killed flying these airplanes in the European and Pacific theaters," said pilot John Shuttleworth of the non-profit group The Liberty Foundation.

The Flying Fortress is up and running today in honor of those who didn't make it home, as an unwavering symbol of American strength.

"It's important so people have a tie to that time in our country's history," Shuttleworth said Monday.

The Liberty Foundation is offering flights aboard the "Memphis Belle" this Saturday and Sunday at Tampa Executive Airport. Ground tours are also being held over the weekend. For more information, visit www.LibertyFoundation.org or call 918-340-0243.

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