The B-17 Aluminum Overcast
The Experimental Aircraft Association's B-17G-VE, serial number 44-85740 - 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. Return to Military Roots The airplane's return to its military roots began in 1978, when it was purchased by a group of investors who wished to preserve the heritage of the magnificent B-17. The group, "B-17s Around the World," was headed by Dr. Bill Harrison. Their goal was to return the B-17 to its former glory. Donation to EAA The economic reality of simply maintaining a vintage bomber, let alone the cost of restoration, prompted the group to donate the B-17 to the Experimental Aircraft Assocation in 1983. Since that time, an extensive program of restoration and preservation was undertaken to insure Aluminum Overcast would be a living reminder of World War II aviation for many years to come.
1929 Ford Tri-Motor 4-AT-E – NC8407
Henry Ford mobilized millions of Americans and created a new market with his Model T "Tin Lizzie" automobile from 1909 to 1926. After World War I he recognized the potential for mass air transportation. Ford's Tri-Motor aircraft, nicknamed "The Tin Goose," was designed to build another new market, airline travel. To overcome concerns of engine reliability, Ford specified three engines and added features for passenger comfort, such as an enclosed cabin. The first three Tri-Motors built seated the pilot in an open cockpit, as many pilots doubted a plane could be flown without direct "feel of the wind".