Aviation enthusiasts will have a chance to sit at the controls of a World War II bomber when "Sentimental Journey," the world's only fully restored B-17 Flying Fortress, goes on display this weekend at Santa Monica Airport.
The plane will be open to the public outside the airport's Douglas Aerospace Museum from 9 a.m. to sundown Saturday and Sunday.
The bomber flew reconnaissance missions in the Philippines. After the war it was used to drop flame-retardant borate on brush and forest fires in California. It was purchased and restored by a group of nostalgic World War II airmen in 1978.
Members of the Arizona Wing of the Confederate Air Force, a private group of aviation hobbyists, spent five years repainting the plane and installing original machine gun turrets and control panels, organization spokesman John D. Wolven said.
"It's a real labor of love," Wolven said. "We're preserving a piece of America's history."