Aluminum Overcast Nearly Ready for 2013 Tour
EAA Chapter 132 members traveled to Oshkosh from Elkhart, Indiana, to help prepare EAA's B-17 for the approaching 2013 tour. Front row kneeling are (l to r) Mitchell Ramsey, Don Duck, and Rod Hill. In back are Dan Ramsey, Phil Knox Sr., Ernie Culp, Vic Pixey, Bill Weaver, Phil Knox, and Chris Henry.
Chapter 132 members Don Duck, left, and Dan Ramsey (on the wing) removing protective plastic from EAA's B-17 following a paint job.
March 20, 2013 - Recent work by staff and volunteers is inching EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast ever-closer to being ready for the 2013 tour season, which opens next month, April 25, at Torrance, California's Zamperini Field.
Over the past weekend, a group of 10 volunteers from Chapter 132, Elkhart, Indiana, were at the plane's winter home - EAA's Kermit Weeks Flight Research Center. They helped remove plastic, paper, and tape from the plane's recent paint touch-up on the upper wings, flaps, and wing leading edges. Chapter members also worked on parts for the nose machine guns, installed the left flap and numerous access panels, and cleaned windows and interior areas as EAA's maintenance staff concluded winter maintenance projects.
"This was our third year in a row we have ventured up there. We generally come in late March or early April," said Phil Knox, chapter president. "I believe there was something mentioned about volunteering in Weeks Hangar in Sport Aviation a few years ago, so we decided that it would be a great way to beat the winter blues."
Along with helping out with the B-17, Chapter 132 members have worked on the Standard biplane, Ford Tri-Motor, B-25, and several others.
"We have always found the folks at EAA fun to be around, and appreciative of our efforts," Knox said. "We tell our members that they're going to be tired, but it's a good kind of tired. We also stay over Saturday night and go through the museum on Sunday morning before heading back home."
A portion of the chapterís maintenance work on the B-17 stemmed from damage the airplane sustained in a hailstorm while on tour last summer. EAA staff and volunteers have been working diligently throughout the winter to reskin the aircraft and repair the damage. EAA continues to accept donations to help offset the cost of repairs.