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B-17 built during WWII to visit Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo areas

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - One of the few B-17 "Flying Fortress" bombers still in flying condition will be available for public flights this weekend in two upstate New York cities.

A B-17 dubbed the "Liberty Belle" will be taking off from Albany International Airport on Saturday and Hancock Airport in Syracuse on Sunday.

The Liberty Belle then heads to western New York, where it will offer flights on July 31st and August 1st at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Flights for the public cost about $400 per person, but free tours of the plane on the ground will be offered.

The B-17 was a workhorse for the Army Air Forces during World War II, seeing action in all theaters of the conflict but mostly used during the air campaign in Europe.

More than 12,000 "Flying Fortresses" were built during the war, but only about 15 are still around and airworthy.

The 65-year-old Liberty Belle is flown around the nation by the Liberty Foundation, which educates people about the history of military aircraft.

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Online: www.libertyfoundation.org

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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