According to Black Canyon Jet Center Operations Manager Ken Watson, “We're excited to host the B-17 Flying Fortress ‘Sentimental Journey’ and the B-25 Mitchell ‘Maid in the Shade’ in Montrose. Participants will be able to tour through these vintage airplanes and experience an up-close and personal look at aviation history.”
The public is invited to tour the airplanes for a small fee ($5 for adults, $3 for children ages 5-12, under 5 free), with all proceeds going to CAFAZ to maintain and operate the aircraft. Only a handful of these rare birds remain in the world today and even fewer are maintained in flying condition.
Anyone who is interested in experiencing flight as it was experienced by World War II flight crews can reserve a seat for flights over the Uncompahgre Valley by calling 602/448-9415. A portion of the flight cost is tax-deductible, and supports the Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing Aviation Museum.
“It is a real privilege to have these aircraft in Montrose,” said Dick Manhart, a local resident who spends his winters in Arizona and volunteers with the Commemorative Air Force as a flight crew chief on the B-17. “The U.S. built more than 12,000 B-17s during World War II; however, there are only about 50 left in the world, and only five to seven are still flying. I really hope our local citizens take advantage of the opportunity to see these airplanes.”
As part of the overall Salute to Veterans event, the Montrose Community Foundation will sponsor a benefit Saturday, Oct. 1, 4-8 p.m., at the Black Canyon Jet Center. The World War II-themed event, titled “Sentimental Journey,” will include food, beverages, dancing to a swing band and a brief veterans recognition program. For more information on this event, please call 249-3900.
The Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is an all-volunteer nonprofit 501(c)3 museum and receives no government funding. The wing is maintained and operated through fundraising events, donations and gift shop sales at its museum in Mesa, Ariz.
The Black Canyon Jet Center manages fixed-base operations for general aviation at the Montrose Regional Airport, providing world-class service to residents and visitors alike. For more information, call 970-249-7111 or visit www.blackcanyonjet.com.