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The Yankee Air Museum announced it is dispatching its flagship, the Boeing B-17G “Yankee Lady,” to the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum at Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport on Saturday, October 3, 2020. The Museum’s award winning World War II heavy bomber is visiting the area, offering self-guided tours and Air Adventure rides. The plane will arrive at approximately 10:00AM. Flight operations are scheduled to begin at 11:00AM at the Air Zoo, 6151 Portage Road, Portage Michigan on the tarmac by the Restoration and Flight Discovery Center.
“This is our last Michigan tour stop we are honored to be guests of the Air Zoo,” said Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of Yankee Air Museum. “Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the End of World War Two by bringing our B-17 Salute to Victory tour to Kalamazoo means a lot to us. There is rich home front history here. Among other things, aircraft parts for the WACO CG-4A transport gliders were produced here by businesses like Gibson Guitar and the Shakespeare fishing rod company.”
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.
Walsh explained the B-17 as 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 ten 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 ten airworthy Boeing B-17s left in existence, so it’s important that we share this flying museum and honor our Greatest Generation,” added Walsh.
The B-17 Yankee Lady is expected to arrive by 10:00AM on Saturday, October 3, 2020. The plane will stay through the day offering tours and Air Adventure rides until about 3:00PM.
Walsh said self-guided ground tours cost $8.00 for adults aged 15 and above; $3.00 for kids aged 6 to 15 and all others are free. Air Adventure rides on the B-17 are available at 11:00AM, 12:00PM and 1:00PM. An Air Adventure ride is a 30-minute experience and costs $475.00. 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 Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum for helping make this mission possible.”
About Yankee Air Museum: Established in 1981 the Yankee Air Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. The Yankee Air Museum dedicates itself to educating individuals through the history of American aeronautics, aerospace industry and its associated technologies while inspiring generations through personal experiences to instill pride in our national accomplishments. Yankee Air Museum, located at 47884 D Street, Belleville, Michigan on the grounds of historic Willow Run Airport. Visit www.yankeeairmuseum.org to discover more or call 734-483-4030.
Contact: Dave Callanan, PR Exec
B-17G Yankee Lady Crew
Phone 734-483-4030 ext. 233