World War II era bomber to visit Rickenbacker


“Yankee Lady,” the Yankee Air Museum’s award-winning B-17G, is coming to Rickenbacker International Airport as part of its 70th anniversary tour.

The bomber will be at the airport from 11 a.m. July 17 through July 18 offering tours and flight experience rides.

“World War II Veterans are passing rapidly, the youngest might be 86 or 87 years old. We work very hard to keep Yankee Lady in top flight condition to honor them,” said Ray Hunter, chairman of the Yankee Air Museum’s board of directors. “World War II veterans, their children and grandchildren all marvel at this craft and while it’s costly to operate a B-17 we believe it’s costlier not to fly her.”

The Michigan-based Yankee Lady is the type of thunderous four-engine heavy bomber, commonly called a Flying Fortress, that initiated daylight, strategic bombing in the European Theater of Operations. This campaign attacked the enemy’s ability to make war by destroying munitions factories, bases and oil refineries from 1942-45.

More than 12,700 of these stout aircraft were built between 1936 and 1945. Their strength became legendary as thousands returned to home bases so severely damaged by enemy fighters and anti-aircraft artillery they were barely able to fly. More than 5,000 were shot down over Europe during the air war. Yankee Lady is one of only nine B-17 Flying Fortresses still flying.
Hunter says the story of World War II and especially that of the air war over Europe needs to live on because these were the most pivotal events in world history. He explained the strategic projection of power began then and continues to be the dominant factor now in assuring national security. As a flying museum, Yankee Lady is a classroom of the era.

“We have a lot to celebrate this year,” said Norm Ellickson, YAM’s B-17 Crew Chief. “Freedom was at stake and things would be very different today had we not won World War II. Yankee Lady turns 70 on July 16, the day before we arrive, and this is the 20th season we have flown her in the flight experience program. This is a big year for us.”

Ellickson talked about flying in the heavy bomber according to Visual Flight Rule saying the lower altitude, cruising speed and range gives passengers a multi-sensory experience provided by no other aircraft.

“Everyone who comes off that plane has a big smile on their face and a memory that lasts a lifetime,” said Ellickson, adding that flight experience rides will be offered to the public on July 17-18.

A flight experience ride lasts 45 minutes with approximately 30 minutes of flight time and costs $450. To order a B-17 ride or to obtain a gift certificate, call (734) 483-4030 ext. 236. Ellickson said the Yankee Lady will be available for tours. Self-guided ground tours cost $5 for adults 15 and above, $2 for kids 6 to 15 and kids five and under are free.

“Preserving this kind of history doesn’t come easy and it’s a team effort,” said Hunter. “The support from our friends at Rickenbacker International Airport makes this mission possible.”

Previous articleCanal Winchester welcomes BrewDog
Next articleZoo to seek no tax increase, 10 year renewal levy


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.