The Pacific Northwest flying season rumbles underway when the World War II-era B-17 bomber, “Aluminum Overcast”, is based at the Museum of Flight for rides and ground tours June 10-12. The restored Flying Fortress operated by the Experimental Aircraft Association is on a tour of the country to share the sights, sounds and experience of one of World War II’s most important Allied planes. Fewer than 15 of the famous Boeing bombers are still flying.
The EAA’s B-17G-VE, serial number 44-85740 and nicknamed “Aluminum Overcast” was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945. Although delivered too late to see action in World War II, the airplane has an interesting history. First Owner Purchased as surplus from the military inventory for a mere $750 in 1946, the airplane has flown more than 1 million miles. It has served as a cargo hauler, an aerial mapping platform and in pest control and forest dusting applications.
Since the time the EAA acquired the aircraft in 1983, it has been restored to its original configuration as a bomber, and carries the colors of the 398th Bomb Group of World War II, which flew hundreds of missions over Nazi held territory during the war.
“Aluminum Overcast” commemorates B-17G 42-102516, which was shot down on its 34th combat mission over Le Manior, France, on Aug. 13, 1944. Veterans of the 398th helped finance the bomber’s restoration. Money raised from the EAA flights and tours help continue with the plane’s upkeep and restoration.
Rides will be available June 10-12 at 10 and 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., with ground tours from 2-5 p.m. Pre-booking rides is recommended, and they are reserved through the EAA, not The Museum of Flight, by calling 800-359-6217 or clicking here.
Story and photo by The Museum of Flight