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Briscoe Field to hold tours of bomber

Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 690 located at Briscoe Field this weekend is hosting one of the few flying Boeing B-17 bombers, Aluminum Overcast, on its visit to the Atlanta area.

Aluminum Overcast, which has had extensive major restoration, will be available to the public for daily flights and ground tours at the airport. Daily ground tours are $6 for an adult, $10 for a family, and $5 for students, with no charge for accompanied children under 8 and World War II veterans. Special group rates can be arranged.

The aircraft will be at the Aircraft Specialists Jet Center (south side), on Briscoe Boulevard through Sunday. Prescheduled flights will take place 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., followed by walk-through tours.

Tickets for B-17 flights can be purchased in advance by calling 1-800-359-6217 or by visiting www.b17.org.

Aluminum Overcast was delivered to the Army Air Corps May 18, 1945.

Although delivered too late to see action in World War II, the airplane has an interesting history.

Purchased as surplus from the military inventory for a mere $750 in 1946, the airplane has flown more than 1 million miles. It has served as a cargo hauler, an aerial mapping platform and in pest control and forest dusting applications.

The airplane's return to its military roots began in 1978, when it was purchased by a group of investors who wanted to preserve the heritage of the B-17. The economic reality of a vintage bomber, and the cost of restoration, prompted the group to donate the B-17 to the Experimental Aircraft Association. The restoration has taken more than 10 years and thousands of hours by staff and volunteers.