British Columbia

World War II bomber on display in Penticton, B.C.

A piece of Second World War history touched down in British Columbia's Okanagan region on Monday.

The aircraft dubbed Sentimental Journey is one of a handful of B-17 bombers left

A World War II era B-17 Bomber is making a brief stop in Penticton. (Katia Augustin/CBC News)

A piece of Second World War history touched down in British Columbia's Okanagan region on Monday. One of the last remaining B-17 bombers flew into Penticton and will be on display for a week.

The B-17 bomber, known as the Flying Fortress, was first introduced in 1938 and targeted German industrial and military targets towards the end of the war.

One of the B-17s, dubbed the Sentimental Journey, is one of a handful left in the world. It is now based at the Commemorative Air Force in Arizona and is flown to different parts of the U.S. and Canada so people can tour the plane and learn about its history.

"It's an honour, to be able to keep this plane flying and to just keep that history alive," pilot Russ Kozimer told Radio West after touching down at Penticton Regional Airport.

Though Kozimer acknowledges the B-17 was an instrument of war, he believes in its merits.

"To us, looking at World War II for what they were fighting for, it was probably, in my opinion, the last good war that had a purpose," he said.

The B-17 bomber weighs about 16,000 kilograms empty, has a wingspan of 31 metres and is about 23 metres long. Flying it is like "flying in a garbage truck without power steering" — there is no hydraulic control, and it's "all cables and pulleys and muscle," said Kozimer.

The aircraft is open for public viewing at the Penticton Regional Airport between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT from July 28 to Aug 2. Rides on the bomber are also available.


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