Dozens of aviation fans gathered at the City Centre Airport Thursday morning to watch as one of the most recognizable airplanes from World War II touched down in Edmonton.

The vintage World War II-era bomber “Sentimental Journey” is a B-17 Flying Fortress, based out of Texas.

It will be on display at the Alberta Aviation Museum from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4, as part of the 70th anniversary of the Northwest Staging Route – where the City Centre Airport played a crucial role during the Second World War.

Up to 800 aircrafts a day – many of them like the bomber – would come through the airport on their way to Europe or Russia.

“There were literally 700-800 aircrafts a day passing through this airport during the Second World War,” said Thomas Hinderks with the Alberta Aviation Museum.

“Because the northwest staging route was such an important American and Canadian effort, we’ve invited the B-17 Sentimental Journey to join us for this weekend so we have a living piece of history here, one of a similar type of aircraft that came through.”

Spectators of all ages came out to see the plane’s arrival on Thursday.

“Truth be told I saw this plane before in Phoenix, Arizona but I’ve never been so up in close in person to the plane,” said Aviation enthusiast Gary Sorge.

“It’s just tremendous to see it so close. It’s just a gorgeous, gorgeous plane.”

The “Big Aluminum Bird” will take flight again Friday and CTV Edmonton will be going along for the ride.

Edmontonians who look up Friday morning may be able to spot it in the skies beginning at 10 a.m.

Hinderks says he expects a big turnout of those planning to check out the historic plane at the museum over the weekend.

The plane will depart at 9 a.m. on Sept. 4.