2024 B-17 Flying Fortress Spring and Summer Tours Announced

The three actively flying B-17s in the U.S. have Living History Flight Experience (LHFE) tours or shows announced.

CAF Arizona Airbase B-17G "Sentimental Journey" flying low over the Arizona desert. (Image by Tony Granata).
Aircorps Art Dec 2019


By Scott Thompson of Aero Vintage.

As the spring and summer flying and airshow season gets underway, it’s nice to see all three of the actively flying B-17s in the U.S. these days have Living History Flight Experience (LHFE) tours or shows announced. The LHFE is an FAA-sanctioned program that allows qualified museums to offer rides in vintage warbirds to the general public as a bit of an exception to the normal operating rules for these old aircraft. The LHFE programs go a long way in keeping these B-17s in the air as a way to offset the cost of just flying these bombers period. With the price of high-octane aviation fuel jumping faster than auto fuel, one wonders how much longer it will be economically viable to keep flying these airplanes. Besides the direct operating costs, such things as maintenance and insurance costs have also skyrocketed. So, if any readers are interested…this might be the year. Do be aware, though, that these are old airplanes…you are not taking a commercial airliner…so weather maintenance and other factors may modify the schedules available below.

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Sentimental Journey taking off at the Dekalb-Peachtree Airport in 2025… the CAF’s Flying Fortress will be touring North America this year giving rides and displaying before the public. The airplane will be back at the Dekalb-Peachtree Airport on May 27th   (photo by Richard Mallory Allnutt)

The Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) B-17G Sentimental Journey (44-83514/N9323Z) has announced its Flying Legends of Victory tour dates beginning on April 3 at Chino, California, and extending through August 18 at Akron, Ohio. Most of the dates are in the southeastern and eastern U.S., plus a few Canadian dates. Check out the schedule here. Rides are being sold in the B-17 as well as the CAF’s B-25 and C-47.

The Yankee Air Force’s B-17G, Yankee Lady (44-85829/N3193G), based at Ypsilanti Airport near Detroit, Michigan, has a schedule posted for the spring and summer months with appearances mostly in Michigan and Ohio. Appearances start on June 8 in Reading, Pennsylvania, and extend through August 11 in Muskegon, Michigan. No doubt more dates will be added. B-17 flights are $550 per person…no aircraft location is specified. Discounts are made of Yankee Air Museum members.

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Yankee Air Museum’s B-17G “Yankee Lady” during a pass at Thunder Over Michigan 2014. (Photo by Mike Lambert)

Also actively flying is the Erickson Aircraft Collection B-17G, Ye Olde Pub (44-8543/N3701G). It has a few appearances scheduled for the summer in which they will be offering rides in the B-17. The first posted dates are June 15-16 at the Olympic (Washington) airshow, with subsequent dates announced at Wenatchee, Washington, on June 21-22. No doubt additional dates will be posted as they are arranged. Thirty-minute flights B-17 flights are $525 per person. Check this page on the Erickson Aircraft Collection website.

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s B-17G, Aluminum Overcast (44-85740/N5017N), based at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, remains grounded for some long-term maintenance to correct a structural problem found during a routine inspection. We hope to see the airplane return to the skies and tour again in 2025.

B 17 Aluminum Overcast
Disassembling Aluminum Overcast for the journey back home to Oshkosh after spending the past two years under repair in Punta Gorda, Florida. (image via EAA)
Many thanks indeed to Scott A. Thompson for allowing us to reproduce this article… his book, Final Cut: The Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors as well as other titles are the gold standard when it comes to the airframe history it describes! Final Cut The Post War B 17 Flying Fortress and Survivors
Moreno-Aguiari

Born in Milan, Italy, Moreno moved to the U.S. in 1999 to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. His aviation passion began early, inspired by his uncle, an F-104 Starfighter Crew Chief, and his father, a military traffic controller. Childhood adventures included camping outside military bases and watching planes at Aeroporto Linate. In 1999, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to obtain his commercial pilot license, a move that became permanent. With 24 years in the U.S., he now flies full-time for a Part 91 business aviation company in Atlanta. He is actively involved with the Commemorative Air Force, the D-Day Squadron, and other aviation organizations. He enjoys life with his supportive wife and three wonderful children.

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About Moreno Aguiari 3336 Articles
Born in Milan, Italy, Moreno moved to the U.S. in 1999 to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. His aviation passion began early, inspired by his uncle, an F-104 Starfighter Crew Chief, and his father, a military traffic controller. Childhood adventures included camping outside military bases and watching planes at Aeroporto Linate. In 1999, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to obtain his commercial pilot license, a move that became permanent. With 24 years in the U.S., he now flies full-time for a Part 91 business aviation company in Atlanta. He is actively involved with the Commemorative Air Force, the D-Day Squadron, and other aviation organizations. He enjoys life with his supportive wife and three wonderful children.

29 Comments

  1. Something Older than The B52 that Looks Good & is Still Flying! 👍🤣🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  2. A friend and I flew in the Aluminum Overcast at Osh Kosh 9 years ago. I’ll never forget it, once in a lifetime experience for me.

  3. The should change the nickname to “Flying Coffin”. These planes belong in museums, not in the sky.

    • The aircraft design is safe, certified and legal. Recent accidents have been attributed to human error, maintenance failings, or are pending further investigation. There are no outstanding questions over the aircraft type’s safety overall. There are a number of B-17s in static museums, those flying are privately owned and follow the requirements to be able to be operated. We hope that clarifies your misunderstanding.

        • My dad’s boss at Westinghouse served as a navigator on a B24 and was shot down over Dresden Germany.The dedication and bravery of those men that served on the B-17 and 24s is amazing. I will honor them until I die.

      • Well stated. I was a 30 minute drive from Falcon Air Field in Mesa, AZ where B-17 Sentimental Journey was stationed. Visited many times, sent chills up my spine every time. My father was a navigator on B-24’s and then B-17’s; flew 35 missions successfully out of Mendelshom, England. Please keep all of them flying, the pride is immeasurable!!

    • Larry, there’s something missing in your bloodline. It’s America, anything is possible here and by the way over 40 in museums in the United States alone.

    • WHAT’S WRONG WITH EXPERIENCING WHAT THE GREATEST GENERATION EXPERIENCED FOR 35 MISSIONS!!!! THE UNKNOWN AND WONDERING IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT BACK!💥💥💥😱😱😱🤔💭

    • Do you think that the B-17s during WWII were much safer than the few still flying……at least no one will be trying to shoot you out of the sky. I flew on Nine-O-Nine……..it was an honor to be able to fly on it.

    • Sure, if you live close enough to visit a museum. My Dad is 89, he’d sure be irritated if I glued him to a rocking chair.
      All of the ol War Birds should fly free. They tell a story when flying low overhead, The sound, size and wow were they slow. I didn’t notice any of those points when visiting SAC Air Museum in Ashland Ne.
      Even the SR 71 hanging from the entrance ceiling seemed slow.

    • The same could be said for your car. It’s a proven fact there are more fatal accidents per miles driven in a car than there are in miles flown by a B-17. In fact there are SO MANY automobile fatalities EVERY DAY in the US, that they rarely get reported on the news, but a single B-17 accident is SO RARE, it’s reported worldwide. I’d gladly fly in a B-17 over driving my car to the store👍

    • Surprised there aren’t more direct replies yet to this brilliant two line dismissive from Larry C, but it’s so ridiculous that it actually made me laugh.
      I’ve flown in one of these old B-17s, kind of in honor of my dad that was on B-17s in WWII before they put him on B-29s. This plane is one of the most rugged airplanes ever built and while you do have to seriously maintain these when they get very old like this, with dedication you can keep them safe and flying, which is a tribute to the men that originally built and flew on them and now a tribute to the airplane itself and the men that have kept just a few of them in the air.
      Perhaps more importantly than even the rare safety issue is that these are a tremendous part of our history and our heritage.

    • To your comment about the B17 safety yes it’s old but people like my father flew 30 missions over Europe a number of times coming back shot up. The key is the plane brought them back. He was the bombardier in the nose of the plane and managed to survive so I think just taking a ride should be ok. These men all heroes barely spoke about what they did. Beautiful airplane built to last and protect.

    • Larry C, While I will take exception to your characterization of these aircraft as “Fly8ng Coffin(s)”, I won’t argue with you about them belonging in museeums.
      As the years go by, we see fewer and fewer of these magnificent flying machines around to appreciate. It is a cold hard fact, one day each and every one of these war birds will take to the sky one last time, and then never again.
      While we do not know currently know the date that this will happen, we can control the condition of the airframe when it does happen. And while I would never want to be the hand that wields the pen that signs the final flight log, we can and should decide when the final flight should take place.

  4. Glad to see these beautiful ladies active again and the opportunities to experience flying in them to the public still happening.

  5. Hiya I’m from UK but love all the old planes go to see b17 Sally b as much as I can in the summer months would love to come to the US and have a fly in one

  6. I had the honor of walking through the Memphis Belle a few years ago, and gave her a good long walk around last fall in Dayton Ohio, and if you could take it off from a Walmart parking lot, I’d gladly be on her.

  7. On Sept 8 1944 staff Sgt Roy Manssen whom was in the 379th AAF Bomber Group was on a mission to Germany to bomb ball bearing factories,fuel depots and military producing factorys when his plane suffered a direct hit and blew up in mid air. He was only 18 and a member of my family. Now he is flying in God’s Air Force. Thank u for giving your life for your Country and freedoms we so enjoy today.

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