B-17 Flying Fortress returns to Erie-Ottawa International Airport

The Yankee Air Museum announced it is dispatching its flagship, the Boeing B-17G “Yankee Lady,” to Port Clinton on Saturday, Aug. 8. The Museum’s award-winning World War II heavy bomber is visiting Liberty Aviation Museum at 3515 E. State Rd., Port Clinton, adjacent to the Erie-Ottawa International Airport.

The plane will arrive at approximately 10 a.m. from its base at historic Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Mich., and begin offering self-guided tours and Air Adventure rides.

“Our B-17 Yankee Lady and crew are honored to be guests, and indeed friends of Liberty Aviation Museum,” said Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of Yankee Air Museum. “This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of World War Two, and bringing our Salute to Victory tour to Liberty Aviation Museum, an institution rich in World War Two history, means a lot to us.”

Walsh said the B-17 is the type of four-engine heavy bomber that initiated daylight strategic bombing in World War II. Its purpose was to fly high and deep into enemy territory, striking high value targets such as munitions factories, oil refineries and military installations.

According to Walsh, 12,731 of these stout aircraft were built between 1936 and 1945. With a crew of 10 and defensive armaments of up to 13 fifty-caliber machine guns, the B-17 became known as the Flying Fortress. More than 5,000 were shot down over Europe during the historic air war. “Today, there may be only 10 airworthy Boeing B-17s left in existence, so it’s important that we share this flying museum and honor our Greatest Generation,” said Walsh.

Walsh is encouraging everyone to come out and see this award-winning, historic aircraft. “Touring the plane or even better, flying on it, will give you a deep appreciation of what our World War Two airmen did for us. It is an unforgettable experience,” he said.

The B-17 Yankee Lady will stay through the day, offering tours and Air Adventure rides from about 10 a.m. until about 4 p.m. Self-guided ground tours cost $8 for adults aged 15 and above; $3 for kids aged 6 to 15 and all others are free. Air Adventure rides on the B-17 are available at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

An Air Adventure ride is a 30-minute experience and costs $475. To order a B-17 Air Adventure visit www.yankeeairmuseum.org and click on “Fly With Us.”

“It is impossible to keep planes like the Yankee Lady B-17 operating without community support at home and everywhere we fly,” said Walsh. “We appreciate the support of the Erie-Ottawa International Airport and Liberty Aviation Museum for helping make this mission possible.”