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World War II bomber plane known as the Flying Fortress visits Air Zoo

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Posted at 12:01 AM, Aug 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-14 00:01:52-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A rare World War II relic made a stop in West Michigan.

The pristine B-17 bomber is stationed at the Air Zoo in Portage till Saturday afternoon.

The plane is known as "Yankee Lady." The model is commonly called a Flying Fortress.

These planes flew long distances to strike strategic targets in enemy territory.

"Yankee Lady" never saw combat. She is one of only nine airworthy B-17s still in existence.

Organizers said showing this plane off to the public is important work.

"It teaches history, and the nostalgia that goes along with it. Most importantly, to me, it's the vets, especially the World War II vets that actually flew on these and in combat, or lost friends. It means a lot to them. It means a lot to us," said Nick Consiglio, a crew member from the Yankee Air Museum.

Community members can check out the "Yankee Lady" for themselves.

Self-guided tours cost $8 for adults and $3 for kids ages 3 to 15.

A 30-minute ride costs $495 and needs to be scheduled ahead of time.