EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (May 23, 2024) — The EAA Aviation Museum’s Eagle Hangar received a significant addition on Thursday May 23, as the B-17 Aluminum Overcast was brought in to be displayed for the first time in 30 years, as plans for its future preservation and restoration are finalized.

“The B-17 Aluminum Overcast has one of the most enthusiastic fan bases of any aircraft in EAA’s collection,” said Chris Henry, EAA Aviation Museum Manager. “Bringing the airplane to the Eagle Hangar offers an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the airplane while we explore all the options available for the airplane’s future.”

Measuring more than 74 feet in length and weighing more than 36,000 pounds, the B-17 is a true heavyweight amongst World War II aircraft. The B-17 was primarily used as a bomber in World War II but also served other uses including transport, antisubmarine, and search-and-rescue. More than 12,000 were made, with only a handful remaining on display or airworthy.

EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945. The airplane was sold as surplus the following year and served many uses including as a cargo hauler, aerial mapping platform, and in pest control and forest dusting applications. In 1978, Aluminum Overcast was sold to a group of investors known as “B-17s Around the World” who sought to return the airplane to its military roots. The economic challenges of owning a vintage bomber led the group to donate the airplane to EAA in 1983. The airplane was on display in the EAA Aviation Museum until 1993 when it was moved to start preparation for its first national tour in 1994. Aluminum Overcast carries the colors of the 398th Bomb Group of World War II, which flew hundreds of missions over Nazi-held territory during the war. Veterans of the 398th helped finance the B-17’s restoration.

About EAA Aviation Museum

The EAA Aviation Museum is located just off Interstate 41 at the Highway 44 exit in Oshkosh. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EAA members receive free museum admission year-round. For more information, call the EAA Aviation Museum at (920) 426-4818 or visit www.EAA.org/museum.