Rare B-17 Bomber 'Aluminum Overcast' on display in Montgomery - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Rare B-17 Bomber 'Aluminum Overcast' on display in Montgomery

Aluminum Overcast (Source: WSFA 12 News) Aluminum Overcast (Source: WSFA 12 News)
The art on the nosecone of Aluminum Overcast (Source: WSFA 12 News) The art on the nosecone of Aluminum Overcast (Source: WSFA 12 News)

A piece of aviation history is on display in Montgomery, but if you want to see it you'll have to hurry. A fully restored B-17 bomber, made famous in World War II, is at the Montgomery Regional Airport. It's sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Organizers say it will be an educational experience about the greatest generation and for those with an interest in aviation.

"What we're trying to do is create this multi-generational understanding between the veterans of World War II, the aviators at that time period, and young kids and get them to understand that there's nothing difficult about flying," explained John Bode, a pilot with EAA. "It's an amazing industry. Now you can get on a plane in Montgomery, Alabama, and 12 hours from, 16 hours from now, you can be on the other side of the world. And aviation has done that!"

The exact plane on display is named "Aluminum Overcast", as noted in the art painted on its nosecone. According to EAA, the plane was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945, too late to be used in the war. Despite its lack of war history, it still has an interesting story.

Aluminum Overcast was bought from military inventory in 1946 for the huge sum of just $750 and went on to fly more than a million miles as a cargo hauler, an areal mapping platform, and even for pest control use, according to EAA.

It returned to its military roots in 1978 and over the years has been restored to its original condition. EAA says it carries the colors of the 398th Bomb Group of World War II, which flew hundreds of missions over Nazi-held territory during the war. It commemorates B-17G #42-102516 which was shot down on its 34th combat mission over Le Manior, France, on Aug. 13, 1944.

A total of 12,732 B-17s were built, many of which crashed during the war. Today, Aluminum Overcast is one less than 15 B-17s that are still able to fly.

The plane will be in Montgomery through Sunday. Those who want to see it can stop by from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m.

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