Aluminum Overcast, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s restored B-17 bomber, returns to the sky on April 25, 2013 in Torrance, California, as the first stop of nearly 40 planned for the 2013 “Experience History” national tour. EAA has announced the first portion of the popular schedule, which includes 15 stops in between April 25 and June 24. The overall tour will continue into fall and will include a week-long stop at EAA’s annual AirVenture fly-in from July 29-August 4 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
EAA’s Aluminum Overcast was built in 1944, but was delivered to the Army Air Corps too late to see active service in World War II. It was purchased as war surplus for $750 by a private individual, and served in mapping and spraying operations in many countries until a preservation group purchased it in 1978. The B-17 was donated to the EAA Aviation Foundation in 1981 with the provision of being maintained in airworthy condition. After being displayed at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for a decade, the airplane made its national tour debut in the spring of 1994. As part of an internal restructuring, EAA now fully owns the aircraft and operates the national tour.
EAA began the national B-17 tours in 1994. Since then, tens of thousands of people have experienced the aircraft know as the Flying Fortress through flight experiences and aircraft ground tours. Thousands of aviation enthusiasts have actually flown in the renowned bomber, considered one of the greatest military airplanes ever built and one of the best-known aircraft types of the World War II era.
The national tour EAA’s Aluminum Overcast takes each year has become one of the nation’s most popular ways to learn about this unique aircraft in an up-close way. EAA is dedicated to preserving the spirit of aviation through these B-17 tours and takes great pride in knowing this living link to history is available for people to experience and enjoy.
Those touring the aircraft, whether by air or by ground, will get to climb aboard the 65,000 lb. B-17 bomber and stand in the footsteps of the bombardier, the navigator, and the waist gunner. Each air tour participant will receive a keepsake of their experience noting facts about Aluminum Overcast. See artifacts from WWII, hear stories of individuals who participated in the war effort, and be brought back to experience one of our nation’s most trying times in the effort to maintain our freedom.
Members of the EAA Warbirds of America who are experienced in World War II airplane operations will fly the airplane, which is painted in the colors of the 398th Bomb Group.
For more information regarding these flights, including ground tour and flight rates, visit www.b17.org or contact EAA’s B-17 Tour Office at 1-800-359-6217. Special pre-book rates on flights are available for EAA members and non-members, and group rates are available for ground tours by schools or other large groups. The airplane’s crew is available at each stop to answer questions.
EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts with 178,000 members and nearly 1,000 local Chapters. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or explore EAA’s website at www.eaa.org.