Aluminum Overcast, the Experimental Aircraft Association's restored B-17 bomber, continues to thrill aviation enthusiasts throughout the central and eastern United States during the second half of its fall tour stops of the 2006 "Keep It Flying" national tour.
After participating at EAA AirVenture 2006 in Oshkosh, Wis., the tour resumed with nearly 20 stops starting in the Midwest this month. The B-17 will visit two airports per week through November, including additional appearances in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas.
The national B-17 tours have taken place each spring and fall beginning in 1994. Since EAA began the tours of the aircraft known as "The Flying Fortress," tens of thousands of people have experienced this unique airplane through its visits and aircraft ground tours. Thousands of aviation enthusiasts have actually flown in the renowned bomber, which is considered one of the greatest military airplanes ever built and one of the best-known aircraft types of the World War II era.
"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 Tom Poberezny, EAA President. "EAA is dedicated to preserving aviation's magnificent heritage and our B-17 tours are a major part of that. This year, we also take great pride in saluting all our nation's veterans through this tour."
At each stop, flight "missions" are available in the airplane, which allow people to take flights in this spectacular aircraft. For more information regarding these flights, including ground tour and flight rates, visit the www.b17.org web site or contact EAA's B-17 Tour Office at 1-800-359-6217. Special pre-book rates on flights are available for EAA members, non-members, and group rates are available for ground tours by schools or other large groups. The airplane's crew is available at each stop to answer questions.
Through the past decade of national tours, EAA's B-17 has created many emotional reunions for veterans who participated in B-17 operations during World War II. For most, it was their first "mission" in a Flying Fortress since that era. Even though more than six decades have passed since their wartime experience, the outpouring of emotion and memories have created a unique link through these veterans. They have often shared their stories, while also recalling and honoring their long-ago comrades, during the B-17's visits to their communities.
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. 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 of being 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. EAA now fully owns the aircraft and operates the national tour.
Members of the EAA Warbirds of America who are experienced in World War II airplane operations will fly the airplane, which is painted in the colors of the 398th Bomb Group.
EAA is an international aviation organization with 170,000 members and more than 1,000 local Chapters. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or explore EAA's World Wide Web site at www.eaa.org.
Interviews with EAA organizers and the tour's pilots are available, as is high-resolution photography. Contact Dick Knapinski at for more information.
EAA B-17 'Keep It Flying' 2006 National Tour Schedule -- Additional Dates
(As of 8/10/2006 - Airports to be announced as confirmed. Schedule subject to change without notice.)
Dates .................City (Airport ID)
Sept. 15-17..........Columbus, OH (OSU)
Sept. 19-20...........Jeffersonville, IN (JVY)
Sept. 22-24...........Knoxville, TN (TYS)
Sept. 26-27...........Columbia, SC (CAE)
Sept. 29-Oct. 1......Atlanta, GA (LZU)
Oct. 3-4...............Chattanooga, TN (CHA)
Oct. 6-8...............Lebanon, TN (M54)
Oct. 10-11............Millington, TN (NQA)
Oct. 13-15............North Little Rock, AR (1M1)
Oct. 17-18............Shreveport, LA (DTN)
Oct. 20-22...........Dallas, TX (GKY)
Oct. 24-25...........Houston, TX (EFD)
Oct. 27-29...........Georgetown, TX (GTU)
Oct. 31-Nov. 1.....Oklahoma City, OK (PWA)
Nov. 3-5.............Tulsa, OK (RVS)
Nov. 7-8.............Amarillo, TX (AMA)
Nov. 10-12..........Albuquerque, NM (AEG)
Nov. 14-15..........Flagstaff, AZ (FLG)
Nov. 17-19..........Deer Valley, AZ (DVT)
NOTE: All tour stops, times and locations are subject to change without notice. Ground tours will be available after mission flights are complete. Ground Tours are not available on moving days.
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