On Keeping ‘Aluminum Overcast’ Flying

Sep 04, 2013 No Comments by

Military history enthusiasts can name the statistics of a World War II campaign much in the same way a Milwaukee Brewers fan can recall the batting average of Paul Molitor. To anyone fascinated with the weapons used during that most terrible conflict of the 20th Century, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a favorite because of all it accomplished.

The Experimental Aircraft Association(EAA) owns one of the few B-17s still flight certified. The relic of war and aviation was featured at the Wings over Waukesha event in August. “Aluminum Overcast,” as the EAA B-17 is known, was one of the most popular planes at the exhibition.

The B-17 helped win the air war over Europe. True to its designation, the craft was a massive vehicle that projected American air power. While it could carry 17,600 pounds of high explosive ordnance, its slow speed and limited maneuverability made the B-17 an easy target for the nimble Messerschmitt of the German Luftwaffe.

For video and the complete story by Lee Matz of The (Milwaukee) Business Journal, click here.

Photo by EAA

Civilian, Featured News, Military

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Online Editor I've been around airplanes since I was a kid. That's when my uncle, a professional pilot, showed me how to fly his Cessna 177 Cardinal. l later became a writer and editor, so covering the exciting and ever-changing aviation industry -- which I've been doing in Flight Journal's Flybys since the late '90s -- was a natural fit.
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