‘Yankee Lady’ B-17 Bomber to Give Rides at Oshkosh

Here’s how to hop a short flight on a piece of history.

‘Yankee Lady’ B-17 Bomber [Credit: Shutterstock]

Yankee Lady, one of the last airworthy B-17 bombers in the world, will be at EAA AirVenture this year selling rides to the public. 

Flight tickets can be purchased at the Yankee Air Museum booth on the AirVenture grounds from July 25 to 29 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The flights will be conducted off-site at Appleton International Airport (KATW), some 17 nm to the south of Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH) in Oshkosh.

The aircraft, a 1945 B-17G, is owned by the Yankee Air Museum, based at Willow Run Airport (KYIP) in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The flight is approximately 25 minutes, with a cost of $525 per person or $425 for museum members at companion and family levels.

Guests are required to check in at the booth at AirVenture 1.5 hours before the scheduled flight time. In order to be eligible for the ride, guests must be at least 16. Children under 18 need written approval from a parent or guardian. If neither will be in attendance with the child, please call or email to get the waiver ahead of time.

The B-17 was designed for combat, not for comfort. Guests need to be able to get in and out of the aircraft without assistance to ensure their safety and be able to follow basic verbal instructions. Guests are requested to wear closed-toe shoes and be prepared for a variety of temperatures—it can be 10 to 15 degrees cooler at altitude than it is on the ramp, and the aircraft can become very warm as it sits in the sun. Hearing protection will be provided, or you can bring your own.

About the Flight

The aircraft can accommodate 12 guests. Guests should bring their ticket, either digitally or physically, when they check in and have a valid ID.

There are no assigned seats in the aircraft. During the flight, guests are invited to explore the aircraft with the exception of the pilot and copilot's seat.

[Courtesy: Yankee Air Museum]

All passengers are required to sign a liability release upon arrival. Yankee Air Museum policy prohibits firearms or other dangerous weapons on museum property or aircraft, including permit holders for concealed weapons. Persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol are not permitted on the flight.

In the event the flight cannot take place due to weather or mechanical issue, guests will be notified as soon as possible, either via email, phone, or both, so that it can be rescheduled if possible.

Yankee Lady, the Movie Star

The B-17G–110–VE, serial number 44-85829, rolled out of the factory in Southern California on July 16, 1945, too late to see combat. Over the decades, it had multiple owners and missions. It was used by the U.S. Coast Guard, served as a fire bomber and as a platform for a civilian aerial surveying company. 

It  also has been a movie star. In 1969, it was one of five B-17s flown to Hawaii to be part of the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!, which tells the story of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Yankee Air Museum purchased the aircraft in the mid-1980s, restored it to airworthy condition, and turned it back into a B-17G with gun turrets, a radio room, and bomb racks.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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