Rare aircraft brings piece of history to Hammond
HAMMOND - People in Hammond got to see a piece of history right in their backyard. One of nine flying WWII B-17’s in the world landed at the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport Monday afternoon.
“It amazes me every time to watch something so big and humongous coming in to land,” private pilot Wayne Spring said. “You think about what it takes and the things that it’s been through. It’s beyond belief, you just can't envision the history behind it.”
Weighing 45,000 lbs. The 1945-built Flying Fortress drew in a big crowd.
“They are always excited when you come to a small town,” said Co-Pilot Ole Nygren.
The aircraft was used as a bomber in WWII.
“Mostly in Europe, Africa and Italy. It could only hold 4,000 to 6,000 lbs,” said Nygren.
Restored in the same condition as it was 70 years ago, dozens waited their turn to climb inside.
“I've always wanted to see what a B-17 looks like in the inside. I've seen one on the outside,” said Miles Demster, who drove all the way from Texas to take a ride in the B-17.
Traveling through narrow hallways, spectators can see everything from the cockpit to the weapon machinery, creating a flying museum.
“Most people really appreciate being able to come out and look and see what it looks like,” said Nygren. “It makes me proud to do what I do.”
Ticket sales go toward maintenance of the bomber. Getting a tour costs $10 per adult, or $20 for a family of five.
The Commemorative Air Force B-17 Texas Raiders will be stationed in Hammond until Wednesday.