Popular Tour Stops In 13 States Over Three-Months
It's been 60 years since the end of
World War II, and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is
commemorating the end of that conflict and honoring those who
sacrificed during that time. EAA's salute to the men, women and
aircraft of that time includes a national "Allied Victory Tour" by
one of the greatest military airplanes ever built, a B-17 "Flying
Stops in the eastern and southern United States highlight the
schedule for the late summer and fall portion of 2005 tour, which
will run through Nov. 20 and include 27 stops in 13 states. EAA
pilots will fly the B-17 "Fuddy Duddy," which is usually based at
the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center in Elmira, NY.
"EAA's B-17 tour annually brings an authentic piece of flying
history to cities throughout the country," said EAA president Tom
Poberezny. "As we are now 60 years removed from the end of World
War II, the march of time makes opportunities such as this tour
even more precious. We want to pay tribute to those who served and
sacrificed while we still have the chance to do so."
The B-17 tours have taken place each spring and fall since 1994.
Since EAA began the tours, tens of thousands of people have
experienced this unique airplane through its visits and aircraft
ground tours. Thousands of aviation enthusiasts have actually flown
in the renowned bomber, which is one of the best-known aircraft
types of the World War II era.
At each stop, flight "missions" are available in the airplane,
which allow people to take flights in this spectacular aircraft.
The airplane's crew is available at each stop to answer
Through the past decade of national tours, EAA's B-17 has
created many emotional reunions for veterans who participated in
B-17 operations during World War II. For most, it was their first
"mission" in a Flying Fortress since that era. Even though more
than five decades have passed since their wartime experience, the
outpouring of emotion and memories have created a unique link
through these veterans. They have often shared their stories, while
also recalling and honoring their long-ago comrades, during the
B-17's visits to their communities.
"Fuddy Duddy" was built by Douglas Aircraft in 1944 at their
Long Beach, CA, plant and delivered to the Pacific Theater. It was
converted for use as a VIP transport and in 1946, Gen. Dwight D.
Eisenhower used the aircraft on his tour of the South Pacific. Gen.
Douglas MacArthur also used it in the 1950s. The airplane's paint
scheme matches that of the original "Fuddy Duddy," a B-17G assigned
to the 8th Air Force's 447th Bomb Group, 708th Bomb Squadron,
during World War II.