B-17 Flying Fortress

85CUCVtom

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If you haven't heard, the restoration of the original Memphis Bell will be completed in 2018. The big public reveal is set for around May 18, 2018. I'm planning on taking off work the 18th to go to Dayton to see her. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has been putting out really cool videos on their YouTube channel, a lot of which detail the restoration process. Check it out:

https://youtu.be/9igGMwNhx_M
 
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Tracer

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Memphis Belle & The Swoose National Museum of the Air Force.jpgKingman_B-17storage1947.jpg The Memphis Belle in 2008, with another famous B-17 The Swoose. Both aircraft are undergoing restoration at the National Museum of the Air Force. The B-17 storage yard at Kingman Arizona 1947. When you look at the hundreds of B-17s in this photo, it's hard to believe there are just 13 left, and only 3 are airworthy.
 
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85CUCVtom

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View attachment 696472View attachment 696473 The Memphis Belle in 2008, with another famous B-17 The Swoose. Both aircraft are undergoing restoration at the National Museum of the Air Force. The B-17 storage yard at Kingman Arizona 1947. When you look at the hundreds of B-17s in this photo, it's hard to believe there are just 13 left, and only 3 are airworthy.
I hope I'm alive to see The Swoose completed. I really want to see another B-29 made airworthy again too.

I thought their was more than three airworthy B-17's? Wow.

On a side note, when I flew in Madras Maiden earlier this summer, which is on loan to the Liberty Foundation, their flight engineer/mechanic John told me that the Liberty Foundation's Liberty Bell should be airworthy within three years. That B-17 made an emergency landing and caught fire in a farm field a few years back. Hopefully it works out for them.

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Tracer

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I hope I'm alive to see The Swoose completed. I really want to see another B-29 made airworthy again too.

I thought their was more than three airworthy B-17's? Wow.

On a side note, when I flew in Madras Maiden earlier this summer, which is on loan to the Liberty Foundation, their flight engineer/mechanic John told me that the Liberty Foundation's Liberty Bell should be airworthy within three years. That B-17 made an emergency landing and caught fire in a farm field a few years back. Hopefully it works out for them.

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Tom, I have a correction. I checked Wikipedia. There are 2 flyable B-17s in Europe, and 9 in the US. There are also more than a dozen around the world that are in various stages of restoration, for static display, and to fly.
 

Tracer

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Liberty Bell B-17.jpgLiberty Bell B-17 on fire.jpg I couldn't find any photos of the present Liberty Bell restoration. These are some photos of the accident and fire.
 

85CUCVtom

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Yeah, that's never a good day. It's so sad to see them go down like that.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt when that happened.


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doghead

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The Madras Maiden was in Syracuse last weekend. http://www.libertyfoundation.org/b17history.html

I flew in it. Was awesome. Have a good bump on my forehead from the front right 50 cal. They warned us about it, but I guess I was awestruck by the view as I entered the area and saw the view through that clear nose!

My barber asked me what happened, yesterday when I got a haircut. I said, "well mike, you're not gonna believe this..." "I bumped my head on a 50 caliber machine gun while flying in a B-17"

I hope I get a scar...


IMG_1023.jpgIMG_1015.jpgIMG_1033.jpgIMG_1018.jpgIMG_1003.jpg

Notice in pic 3, the copilot is texting while flying, oh boy.
 
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USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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The Madras Maiden was in Syracuse last weekend. http://www.libertyfoundation.org/b17history.html

I flew in it. Was awesome. Have a good bump on my forehead from the front right 50 cal. They warned us about it, but I guess I was awestruck by the view as I entered the area and saw the view through that clear nose!

My barber asked me what happened, yesterday when I got a haircut. I said, "well mike, you're not gonna believe this..." "I bumped my head on a 50 caliber machine gun while flying in a B-17"

I hope I get a scar...


View attachment 696539View attachment 696540View attachment 696541View attachment 696542View attachment 696543

Notice in pic 3, the copilot is texting while flying, oh boy.
Huh... The other day I stood up under a window A/C unit and got a pretty good gash on top of my almost bald head.

You WIN ! ! !


When asked what happened, I've been recounting a fictional bungee jumping incident in which the rope was just "this much" too long."
 
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Guyfang

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I wrote a post, and almost sent it off, about helping you " improve" your scar. But you seem to be a nice guy, so I didn't post it. Besides, it's a looooooooong ways over to do the deed. Might be home in Nov. I will have forgot by then.
 

CMPPhil

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The Madras Maiden was in Syracuse last weekend. http://www.libertyfoundation.org/b17history.html

I flew in it. Was awesome......

View attachment 696542
Notice in pic 3, the copilot is texting while flying, oh boy.
Hi

Great photos and experiance. Particularly like the engine photo, last time I saw props bent like that it was back in the early 60s and my dad took me down to see an A1 Sky Raider that some weekend warrior had landed at Anacostia Naval Air Station in Washington, DC. Apparently he had forgotten to drop the gear. Prop blades all nicely curved back.

Of course your photo is an optical allusion of the camera and sping blades.

Thanks for sharing

Cheers Phil
 

85CUCVtom

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The Madras Maiden was in Syracuse last weekend. http://www.libertyfoundation.org/b17history.html

I flew in it. Was awesome. Have a good bump on my forehead from the front right 50 cal. They warned us about it, but I guess I was awestruck by the view as I entered the area and saw the view through that clear nose!

My barber asked me what happened, yesterday when I got a haircut. I said, "well mike, you're not gonna believe this..." "I bumped my head on a 50 caliber machine gun while flying in a B-17"

I hope I get a scar

Notice in pic 3, the copilot is texting while flying, oh boy.
I'm glad you got to go for a ride! For me, it was an experience of a lifetime, hopefully you got as much joy out of it as I did.

I found out later that that aircraft was never restored for the ground up; it was always kept in flyable condition and well maintained.


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steelypip

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One of the many reasons B-17s are so much more common than B-24s or particularly B-29s is because they were useful after the war in civilian life. They weren't horribly expensive to fly and were stable camera and fire-bombing platforms. The other WWII heavy bombers were bigger, fussier (high cost per flight hour) and more specialized, so weren't very amenable to being repurposed.

The B-17 is such a survivor ultimately because it was designed as an antisubmarine patrol bomber and was adapted to strategic bombing duties. The flexibility of the design was its saving grace.

The bad news, of course, is that the commonest and cheapest B-17s out there were the G models, because they kept building them after they quit using them up. There are a lot of non-combatant B-17s out there. It's great that they exist, but the G model is not the airplane that got most of the job done - that's one reason that restoring the Memphis Belle and the Swoose is such a big deal.

Neat to see NMUSAF taking such good care of two famous Fortresses. The Belle needed a lot of love after her decades in a city park in Memphis. I've been meaning to make a trip to Dayton for years. Maybe this is a good excuse...
 
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Tracer

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I understand the Swoose was parked at Andrews AFB for a long period of time, and vandals had pretty much picked her clean. That's the main reason they moved her to the Smithsonian, and now to the NMUSAF.
 

85CUCVtom

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I understand the Swoose was parked at Andrews AFB for a long period of time, and vandals had pretty much picked her clean. That's the main reason they moved her to the Smithsonian, and now to the NMUSAF.
That would be correct. The Swoose is the only surviving D model and the only surviving aircraft that served in the Philippines campaign in WW2.


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Guyfang

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My neighbor when I was stationed in Ft. Lewis washington was one of the flight crew of the B-17 unit in the Philippines. He flew out with the last crew/ maintainers just before Macarthur and family left the islands. Most stories make it sound like he left by PT boat. Didn't happen that way. The PT boats took him and his family to Del Monte airfield, where they boarded several B-17, and flew to Australia.
 

Guyfang

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This is Tante Ju. A JU-52, built in 1936. The lufthansa restored her. There is about 7-8 airworthy JU-52's in the world. There are at least two here in germany, and several non flyable aircraft also. Tante Ju is translated as Aunt JU. A very stable, safe and trustworthy aircraft. My Father in Law bummed a ride on one, so he could go home on leave, in 1944, from Minsk, Belarus to Lubin, Poland, after being wounded for the second of three times. Old Tante Ju comes around several times a year. When she stages out of Nuernberg, and you can buy a ride in the summer for somewhere between 299-390 euro. About 30-60 minutes or so. Tante Ju is the oldest flying JU-52 in the world. You can hear her chugging along through the sky, a sound that you will never forget. Slow as can be, you hink she will fall out of the sky. Simply wonderful!!

 
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