PRESS RELEASE – The Experimental Aircraft Association’s B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast will return to a full national tour in 2021 after being sidelined for nearly all of 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
The first portion of EAA’s 2021 tour schedule includes stops in Florida and Georgia before the aircraft heads northward to additional locations through the spring and early summer. The year-long tour will continue into the summer, with the airplane back “home” for the full week of EAA’s annual AirVenture fly-in on July 26-August 1 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Since EAA began tours of the aircraft in 1994, tens of thousands of people have experienced this unique airplane through its flights and ground tours. Known as “The Flying Fortress,” the B-17 bomber is considered one of the greatest military airplanes ever built and one of the best-known aircraft types of the World War II era.
“We truly missed bringing this piece of flying history to aviation fans throughout the country last year and we’re very excited to be going back on tour,” said Jack Pelton, EAA’s CEO and Chairman of the Board. “These B-17 tour stops are more than flights of a historic aircraft – it is an emotional connection to the men and women who were part the ‘The Greatest Generation’ and the sacrifices they made to benefit us in subsequent generations.”
At each stop, flight “missions” are available, which allow people to experience this spectacular aircraft from the air. As part of health and safety protocols, no ground tours inside the airplane will be offered at this time and the aircraft interior will be disinfected following each passenger flight. In addition, masks will be required for all passengers during their flights. These protocols are subject to change as conditions allow.
EAA’s Aluminum Overcast was built in 1945, but was delivered to the Army Air Corps too late to see active service in World War II. The B-17 was donated to the EAA Aviation Foundation in 1981 with the provision of the aircraft being maintained in airworthy condition. After being displayed at the EAA Aviation Museum in Oshkosh for a decade, the airplane made its national tour debut in the spring of 1994.