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Author Topic: One of the few remaining B-17s burns  (Read 11548 times)

Kevin Weeks

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One of the few remaining B-17s burns
« on: June 13, 2011, 10:05:44 AM »

all passengers walked away but the plane burned...

« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 10:12:51 AM by Kevin Weeks »
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: One of the few remaining B-17s burns
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 10:21:29 AM »

this is the b17 that crashed and burned:

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Mark Petersen

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Bruce Burton

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Re: One of the few remaining B-17s burns
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 01:44:38 PM »

This kind of sight is just brutal: heartbreaking to the maximum when one considers the thousands of loving manhours which have gone into the restoration and maintenance of this lady.  :'(  :'(
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Monty Fowler

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Re: One of the few remaining B-17s burns
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 01:57:16 PM »

Yeah, a tragedy from the standpoint that the majority of the aircraft looks to be a total loss. They can probably save some of the outer wing panels and maybe some engine parts.

But - one of the larger issues is - this is the risk you take with "restoring" a warbird and making it flyable and taking it up in the air. Stuff happens. Now this particular B-17 is, for all intents and purposes, gone forever. What noble purpose does that serve? I am just thankful that everyone got out OK - I remember the CAF's Marauder crash and the five men that perished in that tragedy.
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Friend Weller

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Re: One of the few remaining B-17s burns
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 07:27:32 PM »

This is soooo sad.   I flew in the Liberty Belle about a year ago as part of a hour-long radio broadcast (Ric knows about my broadcasts).  Took photos and video, recorded sound, interviewed crew and veterans.  So sad to see it gone now.
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« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 07:39:05 PM by Friend Weller »
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: One of the few remaining B-17s burns
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 05:31:51 AM »

luckily, this wasn't a true warbird. this plane never saw combat. It was sent to boeing to be modyified for a third nose engine installation that Pratt and Whitney wanted test. boeing made lots of changes to the plane. moved the cockpit aft, reskinned it with thicker skin and smoothed areas over. the aircraft was used as a test bed for 20 years before being shipped off to the new england air museum where it was hit by of all things a tornado, which tore the fuselage in half.

Of all the B17's that could have been restored to flying shape and risk losing I think this was the best candidate. Sad way to look at it, but it could have been a plane that really made 60+ plus bombing runs on germany......
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Dan Swift

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Re: One of the few remaining B-17s burns
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2011, 08:04:17 AM »

Yep, she was the Liberty Belle.  Owned by a man (group) out of Douglas, GA I believe.  Had the great thrill of taking a ride in her over Atlanta a few years ago.  She was to go to England to tour in honor of her namesake that was actually in combat and destroyed in WWII, but don't know if that ever happened.   Even though this bird never saw combat in WWII (one of the last one built), she was still a beautiful bird! 
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Chris Austin

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Re: One of the few remaining B-17s burns
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 08:24:14 AM »

The UK tour did happen, with Belle making the same route across the North Atlantic into Prestwick, Scotland as many of its type.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1031868/Iconic-Liberty-Belle-bomber-lands-English-soil-time-World-War-Two.html
It coincided with the UK's only flyable B-17, Sally B, being grounded with recurrent engine problems.
It is tragic that this aircraft has been lost, but so lucky they had a chase plane able to spot the problem early enough to enable a safe landing for the crew.
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Dan Swift

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Re: One of the few remaining B-17s burns
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 11:28:06 AM »

Thanks for the article and great to hear she made that historic trip.  It was planned for years, and I lost track of the project.  This was shortly after I took that great ride in her.  Great loss! 
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