They are the planes that saved civilization.  They carried the greatest generation to war, and to victory.

They are time machines of aluminum and steel. Museums powered by aerogas and American might.

They are the planes that fought the greatest conflict in the history of the world.

They are the blunt instruments of freedom.

And the Liberty Foundation is in Casper with perhaps the most famous plane of World War II.

The B-17 Flying Fortress bore the bulk of 8th Air Force missions over German occupied Europe.

There are few creations of technology as majestic as a 4-engine heavy bomber in flight. They are little more than bits of aluminum, fabric, 72 pistons, and a dozen propeller blades all moving through the sky in loose formation.

This Fortress, a B-17G named the Madras Maiden, touched down at Casper-Natrona County International Airport Monday morning, and the press got a tour, and then, a ride on the iconic warbird.

And K2 Assistant News Director Nick Learned, and K2 Radio Morning Show host Susan Burk had the ride of their lives Monday.

There are only about a dozen B-17’s in flying condition, and ironically, none of these planes actually saw combat, coming off the line late in the war.

But no matter. When you hear the deafening sound of four, 1200 horsepower Wright Cyclone engines roaring in your ear, you are transported back in time.

Until D-Day, these were the only Americans fighting in Europe, flying missions over Germany… long, loud, dangerous flights where gunners were always on alert for fighters, and the anti-aircraft fire known as flak.

And then, all too soon, it is over as our 23-tons of living history sets down on the runway.

And this weekend you can step back in time, to an era when young men raised their hands and volunteered to save the world.

Public flights and ground tours will be available on Saturday May 13th at Atlantic Aviation FBO, 7956 Fuller Street. Flights are 10am to 2pm every hour on the hour. Ground tours are from 2:30 to 6:30.

Anyone seeking info can call (918)-340-0243 or visit

It’s a chance to touch, smell, hear and feel history. And for some, to return to a time when the world hung in the balance.