2008 EAA B-17 Tour Begins at the End of March
Aluminum Overcast Takes to the Air For EAA's 'Salute To Veterans' Tour
January 10, 2008 — EAA's restored B-17 bomber, Aluminum Overcast, returns to the sky on March 28 in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the first of nearly 60 planned stops during this year's "Salute to Veterans" national tour. The tour's first leg includes more than 15 locations in six states between March 28 and June 4, providing thousands of aviation enthusiasts the opportunity to experience one of history's most important airplanes. A local EAA chapter or EAA Warbirds of America squadron hosts each tour stop.
"The national tour EAA undertakes each year has become the nation's most popular way to learn about this unique aircraft in an up-close way," said EAA President Tom Poberezny. "EAA is dedicated to preserving the spirit of aviation through these B-17 tours. This year, we also take great pride in saluting all our nation's veterans as the airplane makes its way throughout our country."
The tour's second leg takes place in the fall following a full week at "home" during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (July 28-August 3). At each stop, flight "missions" are available in the airplane, with special pre-book rates for EAA members and non-members. Group ground-tour rates are available for schools or other large groups, and the airplane's crew is available at each location to answer questions. For more information regarding flight missions and ground tours, visit www.b17.org, or contact EAA's B-17 Tour Office at 800-359-6217.
EAA has conducted national B-17 tours since 1994, providing thousands of aviation enthusiasts once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience the Flying Fortress. For some, seeing the airplane up close is an emotional reunion from years ago when they served their country aboard a Flying Fortress.
Aluminum Overcast was built in 1945, 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 that the aircraft be maintained in airworthy condition.
After being displayed at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., for a decade, the airplane made its national tour debut in the spring of 1994. Members of the EAA Warbirds of America who are experienced in World War II airplane operations fly the airplane, which is painted in the colors of the 398th Bomb Group.
Visit www.b17.org/tour/ for tour dates and locations.