Queen of the Skies Looks to Continue Historical, Educational Mission

Courtesy Aircraft (Rockford, IL) announces the availability of the rare and historic Fuddy Duddy, one of less than 10 flying B-17’s in the world. The famed B-17 is currently owned by the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center in Elmira, NY. “The focus and the efforts of the Museum are changing, and the B-17 does not really fit the new model,” states Mark Clark, President of Courtesy Aircraft.

On contracted tour with the EAA, Fuddy Duddy has visited more than 50 cities annually, flying in excess of 300 hours and over 500 missions. More than 20,000 people have toured the Flying Fortress on the ground. Through advance and event coverage, Fuddy Duddy has logged nearly 8 million measured newspaper impressions plus an estimated 20 million broadcast media impressions.

A secondary benefit of these exhibitions has been substantial membership growth as well as an increase in the EAA’s volunteer base, with approximately 31,800 volunteer hours contributed. In praising the Fuddy Duddy’s impact, the EAA said, “The B-17 is by a considerable margin the most significant aircraft outreach program offered nationally.”

“Ideally, the museum will find a corporate sponsor or sponsors that will underwrite some or all of the B-17’s operating expenses so the museum can make it available to people who might not otherwise be able to afford to fly in it,” said Wings of Eagles Executive Director Mike Hall. “If a sponsorship deal can’t be worked out, selling the craft is a possibility,” he said.

The museum has entered into a contract with Courtesy Aircraft to explore options on the aircraft. “Whether we secure a sponsor(s) or buyer, the museum is very interested in someone who will continue the educational and historic operation of the aircraft,” said Mark Clark, President of Courtesy Aircraft Sales. “They contracted with us to look at various options. Finding a national sponsor is one; finding someone to buy it and donate it back, or sell the airplane, are the others,” Clark said. “It just depends on which one is the most viable option for the museum.

“The thrust is to have the airplane continue to tell its history and inspirational story,” he said. “A lot of museums have an interest in the airplane.”

“It’s a fantastic resource. These airplanes have touched everybody.”

For more information, contact:

Mark Clark                                           Courtesy Aircraft, Inc.
President                                               (800) 426-8783
sales@courtesyaircraft.com                   (815) 229-5112
5233 Falcon Road
Rockford, IL 61109 USA