The economic reality of simply maintaining a vintage bomber, let alone the cost of restoration, prompted the group to donate the B-17 to EAA in 1983. Since that time, an extensive program of restoration and preservation was undertaken to ensure Aluminum Overcast would be a living reminder of World War II aviation for many years to come. The restoration has taken more than 10 years and thousands of hours by dedicated staff and volunteers at EAA’s headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Purchased as surplus from the military inventory for a mere $750 in 1946, the airplane has flown more than 1 million miles. It has served as a cargo hauler, an aerial mapping platform and in pest control and forest dusting applications. The airplane’s return to its military roots began in 1978, when it was purchased by a group of investors who wished to preserve the heritage of the magnificent B-17. The group, “B-17s Around the World,” was headed by Dr. Bill Harrison. Their goal was to return the B-17 to its former glory.