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Ride of a Lifetime at Rochester International Airport

Updated: 08/05/2013 7:51 AM
Created: 08/04/2013 9:11 PM KSTP.com
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- It's known as the flying fortress of the second World War. Today people got the chance to ride on one of the last flying WWII B-17 bombers at the Rochester International Airport.

"I’m 91 years old and this is one of the last whoo-raws," said flight passenger Donald Ratz.

Donald Ratz and several others got to step aboard history Sunday afternoon.

"Once in a life time I think, you know I wasn't in the service so these big air planes kind of thrill me," said Ratz.

The plane is named Sentimental Journey and it's one of only about ten B-17 bombers still flying to this day.

"It's representative of the almost 13 thousand B-17s that carried out bombardment mission in WWII,” said Pete Scholl, Aircraft Pilot.

Built in 1945, this plane was a little too late to see combat, but was used for air and sea rescue.

"To be able to take people along and share a little bit of history and try to relive a little bit of the experience that our veterans had during World War Two is really thrilling for us," said Scholl.

For many it's a once in a lifetime experience.

"It wasn't built to be a speech machine, the built to be obviously a load hauler so it goes about 160, 170 miles an hour," said Scholl.

It may not be as fast or smooth as the jumbo jets we take nowadays, but it's a ride you won't find anywhere else, a ride back in time.

"Just get goose bumps taking off, landing again, just wonderful," said passenger Art Schmidt.

Today was the last day Sentimental Journey will be in Rochester, their next stop is Fargo North Dakota.