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UPDATED: Fly in restored B-17 bomber today

Ground tours of Flying Fortress follow flights end today.

Posted: April 1, 2008 1:17 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2008 5:02 a.m.
If you're flying a fighter and attacking a B-17G from behind, you'll get a pair of 50-caliber machine guns in your face. If you're flying a fighter and attacking a B-17G from behind, you'll get a pair of 50-caliber machine guns in your face.
If you're flying a fighter and attacking a B-17G from behind, you'll get a pair of 50-caliber machine guns in your face.
A closer look at the "Aluminum Overcast" cockpit, taken when the B-17G Flying Fortress was hangared in Oshkosh, Wis., home of the Experimental Aviation Association. A closer look at the "Aluminum Overcast" cockpit, taken when the B-17G Flying Fortress was hangared in Oshkosh, Wis., home of the Experimental Aviation Association.
A closer look at the "Aluminum Overcast" cockpit, taken when the B-17G Flying Fortress was hangared in Oshkosh, Wis., home of the Experimental Aviation Association.
Thirty minutes over Palmdale: the "Aluminum Overcast" bombardier would sit behind this bombsight in the nose of the B-17G Flying Fortress. Thirty minutes over Palmdale: the "Aluminum Overcast" bombardier would sit behind this bombsight in the nose of the B-17G Flying Fortress.
Thirty minutes over Palmdale: the "Aluminum Overcast" bombardier would sit behind this bombsight in the nose of the B-17G Flying Fortress.
Lt. Col. Robert H. Springer, USAF Ret., who flew 35 combat missions over Europe as a B-17G pilot during World War II and brought his crew home safety each time, checked out the "Aluminum Overcast" when it landed Monday at Lancaster's Fox Airfield. Lt. Col. Robert H. Springer, USAF Ret., who flew 35 combat missions over Europe as a B-17G pilot during World War II and brought his crew home safety each time, checked out the "Aluminum Overcast" when it landed Monday at Lancaster's Fox Airfield.
Lt. Col. Robert H. Springer, USAF Ret., who flew 35 combat missions over Europe as a B-17G pilot during World War II and brought his crew home safety each time, checked out the "Aluminum Overcast" when it landed Monday at Lancaster's Fox Airfield.
The nose art on the "Aluminum Overcast" is pretty tame, according to Lt. Col. Robert H. Springer, B-17G pilot during World War II who watched the plane fly at Fox Airfield in Lancaster Monday. "She's wearing clothes," he noted. "Not all of them did." The nose art on the "Aluminum Overcast" is pretty tame, according to Lt. Col. Robert H. Springer, B-17G pilot during World War II who watched the plane fly at Fox Airfield in Lancaster Monday. "She's wearing clothes," he noted. "Not all of them did."
The nose art on the "Aluminum Overcast" is pretty tame, according to Lt. Col. Robert H. Springer, B-17G pilot during World War II who watched the plane fly at Fox Airfield in Lancaster Monday. "She's wearing clothes," he noted. "Not all of them did."
Pilot George Daubner (left) is head of the EAA's "Salute to Veterans" tour, and sometimes flies the B-17G as well. Copilot Sean Elliott is the EAA's head of flight operations and maintenance. Pilot George Daubner (left) is head of the EAA's "Salute to Veterans" tour, and sometimes flies the B-17G as well. Copilot Sean Elliott is the EAA's head of flight operations and maintenance.
Pilot George Daubner (left) is head of the EAA's "Salute to Veterans" tour, and sometimes flies the B-17G as well. Copilot Sean Elliott is the EAA's head of flight operations and maintenance.
"Aluminum Overcast" sits on the tarmac at Fox Airfield in Lancaster before taking flight Monday. "Aluminum Overcast" sits on the tarmac at Fox Airfield in Lancaster before taking flight Monday.
"Aluminum Overcast" sits on the tarmac at Fox Airfield in Lancaster before taking flight Monday.
"Aluminum Overcast" in flight. "Aluminum Overcast" in flight.
"Aluminum Overcast" in flight.
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Aviation history buffs and veterans alike have another opportunity to flash back to 1945 today and by taking a flight in a restored B-17G Flying Fortress bomber.

Flights take off from Gen. William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster from 8:25 a.m. through 2 p.m., and the plane, the "Aluminum Overcast," is open for grand tours on the tarmac from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

After takeoff, "crewmembers" are allowed to move throughout the plane - including behind the pilots in the cockpit, in the nose, through the bomb bay, and in the waist of the fuselage.

"Aluminum Overcast" is on a national tour dubbed "Salute to Veterans" organized by the Experimental Aircraft Association, which owns and operates the gleaming aircraft.

Flights are $385 for EAA members, $425 for non-members (which includes a membership).

Ground tours are $5 per person, $15 per family (up to 17 adults and kids). Children younger than 8 are free with a paying adult. Tours are free for all veterans and active members of the military.

For reservations, call 1-(920) 371-2246. For more info about the "Aluminum Overcast" and B-17 history, visit www.b17.org.

See Friday's Escape for an exclusive interview with Lt. Col. Springer and more exclusive photos.

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