So many airplanes fly in and out of Hartford‘s Brainard Airport each day that few people take notice. But on Thursday afternoon, just about everyone nearby was watching as a World War II-era B-17G bomber took off from and then returned to Brainard.
The four-engine heavy bomber, owned by the Experimental Aircraft Association, is visiting Brainard this weekend to promote interest in aviation and the EAA, and to give people a sense of the hard job Army Air Force crews had in World War II.
Of the 12,731 B-17 Flying Fortresses built during World War II, only about 50 remain, and only 11 are airworthy. The EAA’s bomber rolled off the assembly line at Vega Aircraft Corp. in Burbank, Calif. on May 18, 1945, and never made it into combat. It was sold as surplus for $750 and served a variety of roles until it was purchased for restoration in 1978.
The bomber arrived at Brainard on Wednesday and will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday for tours and flights. Tours are 2 to 5 p.m. each day, weather permitting, and are $10 per person or $20 for a family with children up to age 17. Children younger than 8 are admitted free with a paying adult. Veterans and members of the military are admitted at no charge.
Flights are scheduled for 10 and 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. each day, and cost $475 or $435 for EAA members. As of Thursday, there were openings each day. Flights can be booked by calling 920-371-2244. The plane is at the Hartford Jet Center, 20 Lindbergh Drive, at Brainard Airport.
The men who will be at the controls during the Hartford visit are Rex Gray, a retired Alaksa Airlines pilot from…
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