The Northwest flying season rumbles underway when the World War II-era, Boeing B-17 bomber, Aluminum Overcast, returns to the Museum for rides and ground tours June 10-12. The restored Flying Fortress is operated by the Experimental Aircraft Association, and is on a tour of the country to share the sights, sounds and in-flight experience of one of World War II’s most important Allied planes. Fewer than 15 of the famous Boeing bombers are still flying.
Rides will be available June 10-12 at 10 and 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., with ground tours from 2-5 p.m. Pre-booking rides is recommended, and they are reserved through the EAA, not The Museum of Flight, at B17.org and 800-359-6217.There will be a special flight on June 6 (the 72nd anniversary of World War II’s D-Day) at about 2:00 p.m. for members of the press. Several World War II B-17 veterans are scheduled be at the plane for the media flight for interview and photo opportunities. The plane will then be based at the Museum for several days for routine maintenance before it is opened to flights for the public on June 10. Those interested in covering the media flight please contact the EAA at 425-243-7733, or the public relations staff at The Museum of Flight.
The Experimental Aircraft Association’s B-17G-VE, serial number 44-85740 nicknamed Aluminum Overcast was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945. Although delivered too late to see action in World War II, the airplane has an interesting history. The first owner purchased the plane as surplus from the military inventory for $750 in 1946. The airplane has flown more than 1 million miles. It has served as a cargo hauler, an aerial mapping platform and in pest control and forest dusting applications.
Since the EAA acquired the aircraft in 1983, it has been restored to its original configuration as a bomber, and carries the colors of the 398th Bomb Group of World War II, which flew hundreds of missions over Nazi held territory during the war. Aluminum Overcast commemorates B-17G #42-102516, which was shot down on its 34th combat mission over Le Manior, France, on August 13, 1944. Veterans of the 398th helped finance the bomber’s restoration. Money raised from the EAA flights and tours help continue with the plane’s upkeep and restoration.
Pre-booking rides is recommended, and they are reserved through the EAA at B17.org and 800-359-6217.