Liberty Belle will let your imagination soar

In the past, I have bored my young daughters with visits to the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This was always a fun trip for me but my kids just tolerated my stories and how the aircraft in front of them had changed history. We would shuffle past airplanes that were identified with information on a placard. The once graceful birds were pigeonholed in the museum never to be flown again. It reminds me of a flying mechanical zoo. Machines captured from their habitat, confined to a small space, and gawked at by visitors.
Lou Reda
Jul 25, 2010

In the past, I have bored my young daughters with visits to the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This was always a fun trip for me but my kids just tolerated my stories and how the aircraft in front of them had changed history.

We would shuffle past airplanes that were identified with information on a placard. The once graceful birds were pigeonholed in the museum never to be flown again. It reminds me of a flying mechanical zoo. Machines captured from their habitat, confined to a small space, and gawked at by visitors.

The Liberty Foundation is a non-profit organization offering rides on its "Flying Fortress." the Liberty Belle, this weekend in Cleveland. This is a rare opportunity.

This aircraft, a B-17 heavy bomber, will transport you to the past and honor the veterans who flew them and give the present-day passenger a memorable ride that will last a lifetime. This particular warbird, predominately built by women supporting the war effort, rolled out of the factory at the end of World War II.

They didn't realize at the time they had just created a museum piece that, on the brink of the Atomic Age, would never be flown on a combat mission. Visit the Liberty Belle and let your imagination soar.

More pictures from the B-17 flight will appear in Thursday's Reflector.