A B-17 Flying Fortress will be conducting tours and flights at Smith Reynolds Airport through Sunday.
The plane, called Texas Raiders, is one of just 11 B-17s currently flying in the world today, organizers of the event said. The airplane, owned by the Commemorative Air Force, was restored at a cost of more than $600,000 over eight years.
In addition to tours, individuals will have the opportunity to ride in the plane. Flights in the “waist” of the plane cost $475, but the better seats in the nose are more expensive: $750 to ride in the bombardier’s seat, and $700 to ride in the navigator’s seat. Both of those seats are in the glass nose of the airplane out in front of the pilot.
Jed Doggett, a commercial pilot from the Houston area who grew up in Pleasant Garden, will pilot the plane. He will be accompanied on the bomber’s flight deck by his two sons, co-pilot Ben Doggett and flight engineer Jake Doggett. Ben and Jake Doggett also live in the Houston area. At 26 years old, Ben Doggett is the youngest licensed B-17 pilot in the country.
The plane can be viewed during the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. window, except when the plane is flying or being prepared for flights. Flights are around 11 a.m. and in the late afternoon.