Flying Fortress’ descends on FargoThe “Flying Fortress” is coming back to Fargo for the second time in three years, and it’s offering rides again.
By: By Mike Nowatzki, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — The “Flying Fortress” is coming back to Fargo for the second time in three years, and it’s offering rides again.
The Experimental Aircraft Association’s restored B-17 bomber will make a tour stop at Hector International Airport on July 19-20, one of 70 stops during its “Salute to Veterans” national tour.
The tours have taken place annually since 1994. The EAA’s B-17, nicknamed “Aluminum Overcast,” was last in Fargo in July 2009.
“They gave about 40 rides, and it was great,” said Fran Brummund, executive director of the Fargo Air Museum.
Historic airplane tours create a buzz in the community and give people the chance to experience history, Brummund said, noting the museum already has received word from a Michigan state resident who plans to visit Fargo to see the B-17.
The Boeing B-17 was a stalwart long-range bomber used primarily in Europe during World War II.
More than one-third of the 12,732 B-17s produced between 1935 and May 1945 were lost during combat missions, according to the EAA. Fewer than 100 B-17 airframes still exist, and less than 15 are flyable.
Aluminum Overcast was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945, too late to see action in World War II, according to the EAA.
A private party bought the bomber as war surplus for $750 in 1946. It has since flown more than 1 million miles in cargo hauling, mapping and spraying operations, according to the EAA, which received the bomber as a donation in 1981 from a group of investors who had restored the retired plane.
Members of the public can reserve flights aboard the B-17 in advance, with prices ranging from $399 for EAA members to $439 for non-members. More information is available at www.b17.org or by calling the EAA’s tour office at 1-800-359-6217.
Mike Nowatzki is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.