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Aluminum Overcast's Return To Flight Remains On Schedule

After 18 months of silence, the four Wright R-1820-97 Cyclone radial engines on EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast spring to life February 21, making a significant milestone in the aircraft's restoration.

February 21, 2006 — A major milestone in the restoration work of EAA's B-17 Bomber Aluminum Overcast occurred Tuesday afternoon, February 21, when its Wright R-1820-97 Cyclone radial engines were started and run for about 25 minutes. The successful engine run-ups mean that the project remains on schedule for initial test flights in early March, says EAA Director of Aircraft Operations Sean Elliott.

"We knew all the hard work of the EAA Aircraft Operations staff and volunteers paid off when we heard the bark of those wonderful radial engines after 18 months of silence," he said. "All systems are functioning well, which means we're on track to begin the pilot training program in the aircraft on March 15." Barring any setbacks, the aircraft will be flown to San Diego's Gillespie Field Airport where it's scheduled to launch the 2006 "Keep it Flying" tour March 31-April 2. For complete tour details, including online flight reservations, visit www.b17.org.

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