Radio-controlled B-17s were first used to bomb Germany, but after World War II, the Air Force found several other uses for the drones, known as QB-17, including taking radioactive samples, water ditching tests, and testing antiaircraft missiles.
Aluminum Overcast had been in Punta Gorda, Florida, since March 2021, when a routine pre-flight inspection revealed a crack emanating from the left sheer web, which is a secondary support structure for the wing. The only way to repair that is by removing the wing.
The B-17 Alliance Foundation held a week-long Birthday Bash for its B-17 “The Lacey Lady” in 2022.
The melodious Wright Cyclone motors of a stock B-17 confirm their ability to power this classic bomber. But the airframe proved capable of adapting other engines for other purposes.
Joni M. Fisher took these photos at the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo, which opened April 13, 2021, explaining: “Central Florida Aerospace Academy students Andrew Lumpuy (left) and Nick Poucher prepare for their ride on the Experimental Aircraft Association’s B-17 “Aluminum Overcast” on the day before SUN ‘n FUN opened. Both are members of the Lakeland Aero Club. Club President Mike Zidziunas bought Nick a ride for his birthday. Another club member donated a ride to Andrew.”
The year-long tour begins in the Florida, then heads northward, with the B-17 expected to be “back home” for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this summer.
The B-17 will stay in Texas, finding a new home at the Mid America Flight Museum.
An ionizing fogger used between flights sanitizes the B-17, and volunteers, crewmembers, and riders wear masks.
The 20-minute video features the best of the B-17 flying at various airshows in the last few years.