‘Yankee Lady’ B-17 bomber flies over Columbus

Visitors to Aviation Day at the Columbus Municipal Airport can experience one of the most iconic planes that helped win World War II — the B-17.

Yankee Lady, a B-17 that was delivered by Lockheed to the U.S. Air Force in 1945, is one of the featured attractions at today’s fifth annual aviation festival.

The plane’s crew offered a few groups of invited guests a preview of the B-17 flights being offered at the airport between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. today, which are going for $450 a seat.

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop was among those who got an opportunity to hop aboard the aircraft Friday morning, describing the half-hour plane ride as an “amazing experience.”

The aircraft is one of nine B-17s left in the world still being flown, said Norm Ellickson, Yankee Lady’s crew chief. Ellickson retired from Delta Airlines after a 34-year career working in the airline’s maintenance department.

“It was really an airplane that helped win the war in Europe,” Ellickson said. “They were the icon of World War II.”

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.