FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28th, 2014
Yankee Lady Prepares for Barnstorming Cape May
Cape May Airport, Lower Township, NJ— Yankee Lady, the meticulously restored World War II Boeing B-17G heavy bomber will be flying into Cape May Airport and the Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum on Sunday evening June 8th for a barnstorming appearance that begins June 9th and runs through Wednesday June 11th, 2014. The four-engine Flying Fortress, flagship of the Yankee Air Museum based at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan, will be available for tours and Flight Experience (FLEX) rides.
“It’s absolutely great that the Yankee Lady is coming back to NASW Aviation Museum again this year,” exclaimed Bruce Fournier, Chief Operating Officer of the Aviation Museum. “Last year the weather and a minor engine problem kept the B-17 on the ground, but we are confident the weather will cooperate this year. We’re told the Yankee Lady is running strong and ready for Cape May.”
Fournier, who helps manage a substantial collection of historic WWII artifacts at the Museum, explained the thunderous four engine heavy bomber initiated daylight, precision 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 to 1945.
“I’m extremely proud to host her,” Fournier said. “The majesty of this rare aircraft casts a patriotic spell over people of all ages. The opportunities to teach young people about the price of freedom are endless when a Flying Fortress is the classroom.”
Fournier said that unlike planes of today, the technology of this aircraft is fully visible. To save weight, all of the inner workings like cables, pulleys, fuselage spars and ribs are exposed. He says kids are amazed when they find out the plane was designed and built long before computers existed.
More than 12,700 of these stout aircraft were built between 1936 and 1945. Their strength became legendary as literally thousands returned to home bases so severely damaged by enemy fighters and anti-aircraft artillery they were barely able to fly. Over 5,000 were shot down in Europe during combat operations during the historic air war. Yankee Lady is one of only nine B-17 Flying Fortresses still flying and one of only seven on which people can take a ride.
“Yankee Lady is a pristine B-17 and we appreciate the opportunity to share her,” said Ray Hunter, Chairman of the Yankee Air Museum Board of Directors. “Our purpose is to honor aviation history and its participants through a living, flying museum. Support from our friends at the NASW Aviation Museum and the Cape May community makes this mission possible.”
Hunter explained that while Yankee Lady never saw combat, she served in a variety of military and civilian roles. The Museum restored her to 98% authentic WWII condition and only the real bombs and bullets are missing. He added that keeping the aircraft in its award winning condition requires an enormous amount of financial and volunteer resources.
Hunter says the sights, sounds, smells and feelings on board a B-17 FLEX ride are unparalleled, providing an inkling of what WWII airmen endured.
“Anyone who wants to feel real lift, fly close to the wind and see the panorama of the seashore and countryside unfolding before them will want to fly in the Lady,” said Dave Wright, Yankee Air Museum’s director of Flight Experiences.
The B-17 Flying Fortress, Yankee Lady will arrive at Cape May Airport on Sunday evening June 8th, and remain on station through the 11th.
“We’ll also be sure Yankee Lady will be available for ground tours,” said Wright, “Hopefully she’ll be going out on numerous FLEX flights but will always return throughout daylight hours. When she departs and returns it’s just part of the excitement to see her in action.”
Wright said ground tours are included in the price of museum admission. A ride is a 45-minute experience with approximately 30 minutes of flight time and costs $450.00. To order a B-17 FLEX ride or to obtain a gift certificate, call Dave Wright at 734-483-4030, extension 236. Donations to the Museum for this purpose may be tax deductible, consult your tax professional for details.
“This is the perfect Father’s Day gift!” exclaimed Wright, concluding “the smile will last for days and the memory—forever.” Fournier added that the purpose behind bringing Yankee Lady to Cape May is to help celebrate American Pride Days. This year, American Pride Days will span 3 days and include entertainment by The Bob Ferris Orchestra (June 9).
Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum is located in Historic Hangar #1 at the Cape May Airport, New Jersey. Cape May Airport was formerly Naval Air Station Wildwood, which served as a World War II dive-bomber training center. The museum is dedicated to the 42 airmen who perished while training at Naval Air Station Wildwood between 1943 and 1945. For more information, visit the www.usnasw.org website.
Established in 1981, the Yankee Air Museum (YAM) a non-profit 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization is based at the historic Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan. For more information about YAM visit the www.yankeeairmuseum.org website. For a 90 second video glimpse into a FLEX Ride aboard the aircraft visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?