“Aluminum Overcast," the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EEA) restored B-17 bomber, will descend upon the in Oxford on August 7th and 8th as part of its 2012 "Salute to Veterans" national tour.
The "Aluminum Overcast" presents an opportunity for the public to experience the allure of this historic war bird on the ground and in flight that helped turn the tide of World War II.
"Aluminum Overcast" brings a living link of aviation's and World War II's past for people of all ages to enjoy. Known as "The Flying Fortress," the B-17 bomber is considered one of the greatest military airplanes ever built and one of the best-known aircraft types of the World War II era, according to a news release from the Western Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"History comes alive as you step back in time and imagine the role of bombardier, navigator, and waist gunner as you walk around this magnificent aircraft," the release states. "This authentic and unforgettable experience allows visitors to relive the legacy of the thousands who heroically flew World War II bombing missions. EAA's 'Aluminum Overcast' B-17 was built in 1945, but was delivered to the Army Air Corps too late to see active service in World War II."
In 1981 this B-17 was donated to the EAA Aviation Foundation with the provision that the aircraft be maintained in airworthy condition. After being displayed at the EAA Air Venture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., for a decade, the B-17 made its national tour debut in the spring of 1994.
At each stop, flight "missions" are available. For more information, including rates for flights and ground tours, visit www.B17.org or contact EAA's B-17 Tour Office at 800-359-6217. Special pre-book rates on flights are available for EAA members and non-members. Flight purchase is also available on site.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to take a mission flight or ground tour whenAluminum Overcast comes to Oxford –Waterbury Airport.
Ground Tours 2-5 p.m.;
weather permitting $10 Individual Rate
Family Rate: $20 (adults & children up to age 17; immediate family)
Free: Children under 8
(with paying adult) Free: Veterans / Active Military
weather permitting Pre-book $409 EAA Members $449 Non-Members Walk-Up $435 EAA Members $475
About The Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress
The Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" is a World War II bomber used primarily in Europe. B-17s from the Eighth Air Force participated in countless missions from bases in England. These missions often lasted for more than eight hours and struck at targets deep within enemy territory. Because of their long-range capability, formations of B-17s often flew into battle with no fighter escort, relying on their own defensive capabilities to ensure a successful mission.
During the war, B-17s were among the most modern aircraft in the U.S. inventory. However, the advent of the jet age and advances in technology made the Flying Fortress obsolete soon after the conclusion of the war. In the years following World War II, most B-17s were cut up for scrap, used in Air Force research or sold on the surplus market.In 1934, the Boeing Aircraft Company of Seattle, Wash., began construction of a four-engine heavy bomber. Known as the Boeing model 299, it first took flight on July 28, 1935. The government ordered production of 13 of these aircraft, now designated the Y1B-17. Delivery of these first production models was between January 11 and August 4, 1937.
The B-17 received the name "Flying Fortress" from a Seattle reporter who commented on its defensive firepower. The B-17 underwent a number of improvements over its 10-year production span. Models ranged from the YB-17 to the B-17-G model. Throughout the war, the B-17 was refined and improved as battle experience showed the Boeing designers where improvements could be made. The final B-17 production model, the B-17G, was produced in larger quantities (8,680) than any previous model and is considered the definitive "Flying Fort." With its 13 .50-caliber machine guns – chin, top, ball and tail turrets; waist and cheek guns – the B-17G was indeed an airplane that earned the respect of its combatants. In addition, air crews liked the B-17 for its ability to withstand heavy combat damage and still return its crew safely home.
Between 1935 and May of 1945, 12,732 B-17s were produced. Of these aircraft, 4,735 were lost during combat missions.Today, fewer than 100 B-17 airframes exist and fewer still are in airworthy condition. At one time, more than 1,000 B-17s could be assembled for mass combat missions, less than 15 of Boeing's famous bombers can still take to the air.
EAA, a non-profit membership organization based in Oshkosh, Wisc., that embodies the spirit of aviation through the world's most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA's 170,000 members and 1,000 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org. For continual news updates, connect with www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.