EAA B-17 Tour Finishing Strong
EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast
Military veteran Don Whipple exits the plane after his very first B-17 flight at the Denver, Colorado, tour stop.
A panel of World War II veterans spoke at a special ceremony during the B-17 tour stop at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Denver, Colorado. From left to right: Jim Blain, Don Whipple, Harland Smith, Bill Brunger, and Harry Lindstrom.
November 20, 2008 — With winter just about here, EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast is preparing for its final stops on the "Keep it Flying" tour before heading back to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for seasonal maintenance (and the B-17 Fantasy Flight Camp December 12-14). Even though the 2008 tour is winding down, enthusiasm and support hasn't waned, says Sean Elliott, EAA's director of aircraft operations. In fact, last week in Denver, Colorado, 103 people made flights on the old bird. The previous week saw 110 people take to the sky in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“EAA would like to thank the EAA chapters and volunteers across the country who made this year’s B-17 tour a success,” Elliott said. “Their support has helped preserve this piece of aviation history from World War II and the volunteers will continue to be important in the future success of this program.”
The B-17 Aluminum Overcast visited 26 different states this year, making nearly 60 stops at local airports, aviation museums, EAA chapters and other aviation institutions. Only two stops remain in the tour – Albuquerque, New Mexico (November 21-23) and Deer Valley, Arizona (December 5-7) – before Aluminum Overcast returns home to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where it will undergo maintenance at EAA’s Kermit Weeks hangar in preparation for next year’s tour.
“Judging by the positive response we received late in the year at our Denver and Tulsa stops, we’re optimistic about what’s to come in 2009,” Elliott said.
Since 1994, EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast has made an annual tour around the USA promoting interest in aviation, preserving the memory of WWII, and giving many thousands of people unique access to an important historic artifact through flight experiences an ground tours. It has been one of EAA's biggest success stories of the past decade.
For more information on the plane and the tour, visit www.b17.org.