B17 Visits Essex County (Caldwell) Airport

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 35 Wright Way Fairfield NJ 07004  See map


‘Mission’ flights, ground tours in historic WWII bomber available


EAA Chapter 73, Fairfield, NJ — “Aluminum Overcast,” the Experimental Aircraft Association’s restored B-17 bomber, returns to the sky on August 10, 11, and 12 at Essex County Airport in Fairfield, NJ as part of the 2012 “Salute to Veterans” national tour.

 “The national tour EAA undertakes each year has become the nation’s most popular way to learn about this unique aircraft in an up-close way,” said Rod Hightower, EAA president. “EAA is dedicated to preserving the spirit of aviation through these B-17 tours. We take great pride in saluting all our nation’s veterans as the airplane makes its way throughout our country, showcasing a living link to history for all generations to enjoy.”

At each stop, flight “missions” are available in the airplane, which allow people to fly in this spectacular aircraft. For more information regarding these flights, including rates for flights and ground tours, visit www.b17.org or contact EAA’s B-17 Tour Office at 800-359-6217. Special pre-book rates on flights are available for EAA members and non-members, and group ground-tour rates are available for schools or other large groups.

Members of the EAA Warbirds of America who are experienced in World War II airplane operations fly the airplane, which is painted in the colors of the 398th Bomb Group. The airplane’s crew is available at each stop to answer questions.

Through the past decade of national tours, EAA’s B-17 has created many emotional reunions for veterans who participated in B-17 operations during World War II. For most, it was their first experience in a Flying Fortress since that era. Even though more than six decades have passed since their wartime experience, the veterans’ outpouring of emotion and memories have created a unique link to the original purpose of this aircraft. The veterans have often shared their stories, while also recalling and honoring their long-ago comrades, during the B-17’s visits to their communities. Many local New Jersey residents have also shared stories of when they were part of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation and had worked during WWII to develop and test the engines and propellers at this very airport (at that time Caldwell-Wright Airport) or had built them in the Curtiss-Wright factories in Paterson and Woodridge. 

EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 170,000 members and 1,000 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. The Essex County Airport Tour Stop is hosted by New Jersey’s EAA Chapter 73.  For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org. For continual news updates, connect with www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.  For information on EAA Garden State Chapter 73, go to www.eaa73.org.


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