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AERO VINTAGE BOOKS

2014 B-17 NEWS


B-17 News Archive

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We're including this page as an update point for B-17 news. We'll post information garnered from any variety of sources, and notate that source at the end of the item. If anyone has anything they'd like to add, please let us know.


B-17 Tour Information

  • The Liberty Foundation has tour dates in the southeast with the leased mock Memphis Belle, 44-83546 (N3703G). Check out the most current information here.

  • The Collings Foundation B-17G Nine-O-Nine, 44-83575 (N93012), has March 2014 dates posted in the southeast. For the most current information, jump to here for schedule information.

  • The Commemorative (ex-Confederate) Air Force's B-17G Texas Raiders, 44-83872 (N7227C), has as a 2014 spring scheduled posted with dates in the southeast. Jump to here for show dates and ride information. A 2013 schedule is posted.

  • The CAF's other B-17G, Sentimental Journey, 44-83514 (N9323Z), has no tour dates yet scheduled for 2014, but offers rides on a pre-arranged basis from its Mesa, Arizona, base. The Arizona Wing's page can be found here for the only Wing information posted for Sentimental Journey.

  • The Experimental Aircraft Association's B-17G Aluminum Overcast, 44-85740 (N5017N), has the beginnings of a 2014 tour schedule posted, with one date in Texas in April. Check for the most current information here.

  • The Yankee Air Force out of Willow Run, Michigan, operates the magnificent B-17G, 44-85829 (N3193G), Yankee Lady. A 2014 appearance schedule has been posted. Jump to here for their most current information.

  • The Lone Star Flight Museum's Thunderbird, 44-85718 (N900RW), based at Galveston, Texas, offers a ride program. The museum does not have a 2014 schedule posted yet. Check out the most current schedule at right here.

March 2014

  • DB-17P at Strategic Air and Space Museum: Not really news, but an updated photo of the DB-17P, 44-83559, displayed at the Strategic Air and Space Museum at Ashland, Nebraska.

    Chris Henry took a visit to the museum in early February and it turns out, got to get inside the B-17. He sent along a few other photos, including this one of the cockpit.

    I confess I am a bit surprised at the condition of the cockpit and instrument panel: pretty complete for a long-time ex USAF static display airplane. It would be interesting to see if there is any evidence of the old drone control equipment.

    And, here is a photo of the aft fuselage interior.

    This airplane has been on the receiving end of a bunch of restorative work at some point. The airplane looks pretty good.

    Gave me a nudge to update the photo on my B-17 Locator page also, as this airplane entry was, like, a decade out of date. Okay, then.

  • B-17F at Offutt AFB: Chris Henry also passed along a recent photo of the B-17F, 42-3374, on external static display at Offutt AFB near Omaha, Nebraska. Airplane remains in reasonably good condition given its outdoor display status in a often harsh climate.

  • Early 1980s View of B-17D: Tim Barbosa sent in some photos taken at the Paul Garber facility of the NASM back around 1982 showing the only extant B-17D, 40-3097, in outdoor storage.

    It still surprising that the NASM held this airplane in its collection for five decades in disassembled and, in earlier years, outdoor storage. It is now held by the NMUSAF where it is undergoing an albeit slow restoration. But, at least now, we are assured it will be displayed sooner rather than never.

  • List of B-17s Held on Loan by NMUSAF: A list recently surfaced on a WIX Posting that apparently details in an official manner the entire collection of NMUSAF on loan to other museums and/or groups from its collection, and includes USAF unit information as applicable. This list shows thirteen B-17s, all of which are on static display. One of particular interest in the listing is the Tulare B-17G, 44-85738, as its inclusion would seem to confirm prior statements of that aircraft's actual owner. This listing does not include the three B-17s at the NMUSAF main facility at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, those being B-17G 43-32076 (Shoo Shoo Baby), B-17F 41-24485 (Memphis Belle), and B-17D 40-3097 (Swoose). Thus, the NMUSAF holds a total of sixteen B-17s. I've added an additional remarks column for corrective data and other pertinent information.

    SERIES SERIAL ORGANIZATION CITY STATE ADDED REMARKS/CORRECTIONS
    B-17F 42-3374 OFFUTT AFB (NE), 55 WG/HO OFFUTT AFB NE
    B-17G 43-38635 CASTLE AIR MUSEUM ATWATER CA
    B-17G 44-6393 MARCH FIELD AIR MUSEUM MARCH ARB CA Last USAF: VB-17G
    B-17G 44-83512 LACKLAND AFB (TX), 37 TRW/AHMU LACKLAND AFB TX Last USAF: TB-17G
    B-17G 44-83559 STRATEGIC AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM ASHLAND NE Last USAF: DB-17P
    B-17G 44-83624 DOVER AFB (DE), 436 AW/MU DOVER AFB DE Last USAF: DB-17P
    B-17G 44-83663 HILL AFB (UT), 75 ABW/MU HILL AFB UT
    B-17G 44-83690 GRISSOM AIR MUSEUM PERU IN Last USAF: DB-17P
    B-17G 44-83863 EGLIN AFB (FL), 96 ABW/MU EGLIN AFB FL Ex PB-1W
    B-17G 44-83884 BARKSDALE AFB (LA), 2 BW/MU BARKSDALE AFB LA Ex PB-1W
    DB-17P 44-85599 DYESS AFB (TX), 7 BW/CVM DYESS AFB TX Last USAF: DB-17P
    B-17G 44-85738 AMVET POST 56 TULARE CA Last USAF: DB-17G
    DB-17P 44-85828 390TH MEMORIAL MUSEUM TUCSON AZ Ex PB-1G


  • February 2014

    I confess this update has been a long time coming but it is time to clean the files out a bit.

    • Swamp Ghost Indoors: The Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, has moved the fuselage of B-17E 41-2446, otherwise known as Swamp Ghost into a hangar and reassembled it. Patrick Carry sent in some photos taken by Lawrence Lucero in December 2013 that show the current state of the airframe.

      It is nice to see the fuselage somewhat protected from the elements now. Not sure about the wings and other parts and if they remained stored outside.

    • New Nose Glass, Sort Of, for Tulare B-17G: Rick Jackson has kept me abreast of the state of the Tulare B-17G, 44-85738. As noted in 2013 updates, the nose glass went missing from this B-17G, parked as it is along Highway 99 in California's central valley. The gaping hole in the nose was covered by a piece of plastic tarp for a while, but now it has a flat piece of Plexiglas attached that, sorry to say, appears to be considered a permanent fix.

      Despite a bunch of phone calls and a few messages left, I never heard back from the AMVETS chapter in charge of the airplane what transpired to cause the original nose glass to disappear. It is one more step down a sad road for this airframe, on display at Tulare since 1958 (yep, that would be 56 years now). The interior is gutted and the exterior is corroded and battered. As an update to the update, Rick reported in late January that the nose job remains in place.

      Oh, and a truck or some other vehicle bashed a dent into the left wing tip also.

      I sympathize with the AMVETS chapter and recognize they do what they can with the airplane, but seriously, really?

    • 1990 View of B-17G 44-6393 at March Field Museum: Patrick Whitham sent in this nice view of B-17G 44-6393:

      The airplane looked pretty good at this point, similar to how it looked coming off the production line at Douglas Long Beach in 1944. Nothing wrong with that lean scheme in my book.

    • Postwar USAF B-17Gs: Rick Jackson also found this slide in a bunch he bought at a swap meet. A bit fuzzy to be sure, but of some interest. Can't pull the tail number off or glean any other information, but perhaps someone will recognize something.

    • Details Emerge on Little Known B-17 Disappearance in Colombia: Chris Brame just posted a neat little find he came up with that concerns the loss of a civil B-17G, 44-83439 (N131P) in December 1962. This is a lesser known civil B-17G though it had some unusual history. It was purchased by Aero-American as surplus from the USAF and, under the care of Greg Board and his company, Aero Associates, rebuilt and sold. It was eventually modified to carry tropical fish and used as such for at least a year or two. It was sold on December 4, 1962, but was reported as destroyed by crash shortly afterwards, but no details were known.

      Chris came up with a newspaper article from March 1963 that adds a bunch of information and also lends a bit of mystery to the accident. Essentially, the crash occurred in mid December 1962, killing both pilots and a third crewmember. It occurred about forty miles from San Marta in northern Colombia. Details from the article indicate that it was expected the airplane was flying from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Panama City, Panama, after off-loading a cargo of beef at San Juan. How and why the airplane ended up in northern Colombia is the mystery, though operations in that part of the world then and now are not always routine. Check out the posting right here and thanks to Chris for uncovering this bit of history.

    • Other Interesting Aero Vintage Forum Posts: I would add that there have been a number of interesting posts, at least to me, on the Aero Vintage Forum in the past few weeks, one of which is an intriguing discussion started by Steve Birdsall about Hawaiian Air Depot paint schemes in the early days of World War II.

      If you haven't spent time on the forum recently, check out some of the new threads.

    • 1976 Photos of Balls of Fire: Patrick Whitham sent in a bunch of photos he took of B-17G 44-83525 (N83525) taken i 1976 at Tyler, Texas, when the airplane was owned by the colorful Junior Burchinal.

      Burchinal purchased the airplane from the Tallmantz collection in October 1972 and he based it at a number of locations as well as his main base at Paris, Texas. Patrick noted that the airplane flew during the occasion when he saw the airplane at Tyler, and that it was displayed with an unmarked B-25 and F4U, both of which also presumably were Burchinal airplanes.

      The B-17 eventually went to Kermit Weeks and was badly damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It was partially repaired but has been held in disassembled storage for the better part of two decades.

    • New Photo of Russell Field B-17G: Nick Veronico sent in a new view of a surplus B-17G, 43-37650 at Russell Field at Fort Worth, Texas, probably taken in the very early 1950s.

      This airplane was flown into Russell Field from the War Assets storage yard at Altus, Oklahoma, probably in 1947. It was used as an airport marker for a few years with the name of the airport painted prominently on its upper wings.

      The "RC" tail code would suggest this B-17G was last assigned to a training unit at Rapid City, South Dakota, before being declared surplus and sent to Altus. Based on other examples, I think it was transferred at no cost to the airport for display purposes by the WAA, but have not found any documentation to confirm this. It eventually became one of the surplus B-17s scooped up by Owen Williams, probably a bit illegally, and he had the tail number of N66570 at least reserved for it. Williams evidently had trouble registering the airplane as it turns out the seller did not actually own it and, as with several other Williams' B-17s, was quickly sold out of the country to a Bolivian cargo operator. This airplane later flew as CB-97 and later CP-597 but did not last long, apparently crashing in 1955.



    B-17 News Archive

    Current B-17 News
    2013 B-17 News
    2012 B-17 News
    2011 B-17 News
    2010 B-17 News
    2009 B-17 News
    2008 B-17 News
    2007 B-17 News
    2006 B-17 News
    2005 B-17 News
    2004 B-17 News
    2003 B-17 News
    2002 B-17 News
    1997-2001 B-17 News


    Back to B-17 Information
    Back to the Main Page


    Updated: 03/04/14