This week, Oklahoma residents could take a rare flight in a World War II B-52 Bomber.
The “Maid In The Shade” bomber is one of 34 of its kind still flying today. The World War II plane, also known as a B-25J, has a blue tail and blue ring cowls.
The plane will be taking guests for short, scenic trips at Wiley Post Airport through Sunday, Sept. 12.
Went to the legends of victory tour today they brought the B-25 Maid in the Shade and it was really awesome to see so much history in 1 plane— Dee Jenks (@DrakeLenore) September 3, 2021
The Midwestern tour stop is part of the Commemorative Air Force annual national tour. The Arizona company’s “Flying Legends of Victory Tour” starts in June and ends in October. Three of the company’s seven flying warbirds travel to approximately 50 cities.
Sightseers can look around the World War II plane and buy a ticket to fly in it too.
Folks can buy individuals tickets for $10 while a family of four can look around for $20. The bomber’s owner has tours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with special weekend tours Friday through Sunday tours from 2 to 6 p.m.
As for flying in the WWII plane, there’s a bit higher price. Expect to pay $325 for one of four waist compartment seats. The jump seat goes for $590, and there are three to choose from on a flight.
After its Oklahoma trip, the B-52 heads to Armarillo, Texas, on Sept. 13-19 and Las Cruces, N.M., on Sept. 20-26.
WWII Bomber Has A History
During World War II, this particular bomber few in 15 missions in late 1944. Aircraft workers assembled it in Kansas City, Missouri.
According to its owner, the Mesa, Ariz.-bomber was one of nearly 10,000 made. It was part of America’s first large-scale bombing offensive in the Phillippines. During that mission, it took down eight ships and five planes.
Years later, it became an aerial pest spray aircraft before its current owner bought it. After a long restoration, the plane took its first flight in May 2009.
Last week, the World War II plane stopped in Missouri. A KY3 reporter interviewed pilot Doug Spencer, who revealed how the plane got its distinct name.
“When they restored it, the airbase took a vote as to what to name it, and they came up with ‘Maid in the Shade,’” Spencer said. “The way I understand how that name was picked was because they had built a new hangar at Falcon Field (in Arizona), and they were able to work inside that hangar to refurbish it, rather than out in the hot sun.”
Spencer’s company also painted the plane’s nose art. It depicts a young woman in a bikini lying under a palm tree superimposed over an outline of Corsica.
World War II Descendant Plane In Use Today
Today, American forces used a similar aircraft to the World War II plane.
B-52 are still employed by the United States Armed Forces.
According to Stars and Stripes, many B-52 Stratofortress bombers with 230 air personnel went to Guam in late August.
With tensions high between China and Taiwan, F-15 fighter jets from Japan and F-16s from Indonesia flew with the American B-52s this week.
Bomber patrols from Guam over the East and South China Seas have served over the past 16 years to project U.S. airpower and resolve against North Korea, China, and Russia.