February 21, 2013 - Thanks to many helping hands, damage caused by last year's hailstorm won't prevent EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast from heading out on tour this spring.
EAA staff and volunteers, including chapters, are working tirelessly to help reskin and repair hail damage the B-17suffered on a tour stop in Denver, Colorado, on June 6, 2012.
The hail damaged much of the outer surfaces of the B-17, tearing fabric and denting the sheet metal body. By the end of February, the wings will be completed, and the aircraft will be cleaned and painted.
Along with working to repair the body, volunteers have helped replace and varnish the aging wood on the inside of the airplane.
"Everyone has been working so hard to make sure that the B-17 gets all of the necessary repairs and maintenance completed," said John Hopkins, EAA manager of aircraft maintenance. "The chapters are an essential part of this repair and maintenance process, and provide a great deal of support where it is greatly needed."
Last weekend, Chapter 1537 from Siren, Wisconsin, and Chapter 237 from Blaine, Minnesota, generously worked on the bomber at EAA's Weeks Hangar. In the coming weeks, Chapter 992 of Marshfield, Wisconsin, and Chapter 132 from Elkhart, Indiana, will also donate their time and talents.
Hopkins said Aluminum Overcast will be ready in time for annual test flights, beginning March 25.
Visit www.b17.org for more information on the Aluminum Overcast and its tours.