The Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona is making the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport home to it’s beautifully restored B-17G bomber, the Sentimental Journey, from July 28th through August 7th. Leaving work a little early I made my way to KBHB to check it out. Having seen several B-17’s at air shows on static display, I’ve never had the chance to go inside one.
For a suggested $5 donation to help with operating expenses you were able to maneuver your way through this beauty. As you climb the ladder into the front of the aircraft you immediately get the feeling you are in something very special. It wasn’t long before I realized I’m not built for flying in a B-17. It is like sitting in a seat at Fenway Park. Tight. Very tight, which gives you an appreciation for those who flew countless missions in these planes. The amount of work to restore this to the original shape is huge. From the glass in the nose gunner’s station to the cockpit, top mounted gun as well as guns protruding from the side of the fuselage and the tail gunner’s point, it is absolutely stunning.
Walking around the plane, it is spotless. Drops of oil are immediately wiped off and there are several of the crew eager to talk and answer any questions about the restoration, missions and history behind the B-17 and other war birds. Before leaving, we were fortunate enough to see several veterans from various wars climb into the Sentimental Journey and go for a ride. Seeing this beauty roar down the taxiway was an amazing sight. But that sight was soon trumped when it came up across the field and gradually lift off the ground and then climb up and out over Mount Desert Island.
The Sentimental Journey is on display from 9am-5pm every day until it departs on Thursday for Frenchville. It is free to walk around and take photos but as stated, a $5 per adult, $3 per child donation is suggested to go through the plane. Flights are available for $425. Enter through the Scenic Flights of Acadia entrance off Route 3 in Trenton, just before the road to the BHB terminal and FBO.