- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - One of the best-known planes from World War II is scheduled to visit Montgomery in October, giving area residents the chance to fly in it.

The restored B-17 bomber, known as the “Flying Fortress,” will be at Dannelly Field and available for tours and flights from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2.

The plane is one of few remaining B-17s in the world that is still airworthy, The Montgomery Advertiser reported (https://on.mgmadv.com/1sWGReO ).

“The purpose of this tour, bringing this aircraft around, is to remind people of the service and sacrifice of the people who used these machines in the war,” said Stan Tew, president of the Montgomery chapter of the nonprofit Experimental Aircraft Association.

Flights will cost $449, Tew said. Ground tours of the aircraft will be $10.

Some of the money will go toward the local EAA chapter, but the vast majority will go toward the maintenance and operation of the aircraft, which is extremely expensive, Tew said.

The plane uses about 160 gallons of fuel an hour even when it is just cruising through the air, Tew said. It is also a notorious oil guzzler, he added.

The aircraft is nicknamed “Aluminum Overcast,” which is a reference to the sheer numbers of B-17s that filled the skies over Europe during World War II, Tew said.

The plane flying to Montgomery was produced too late to be used in the war, Tew said. It was one of the many B-17s that were sold as surplus after the war ended, and the plane was donated to the Experimental Aircraft Association in 1983.

The plane is fully restored and authentic, although there are additions such as GPS and modern radios to ensure safety and to comply with flight regulations.

Tew said he hopes as many veterans as possible will show up for the tours and flights, giving other people the chance to thank them and the veterans a chance to reflect on their experiences.

“It seems to be very cathartic for the veterans themselves,” he said of the tours.


Information from: Montgomery Advertiser, https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com

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