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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 6:38 am

Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Thu Jan 01, 2004 12:41 pm

I have heard conflicting information and was hoping someone could shed some light on the subject.

First off, how many B-17s are still flying. Next, did any of the B-17s still flying have any combat experience? I have heard that a few did and I have also heard that not one of the remaing B-17s flying ever saw any WWII combat flying. Also, is the "Memphis Belle" flying the real "Memphis Belle" or is another painted as the "Memphis Belle"?

Anyone got an answer?
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Thu Jan 01, 2004 4:31 pm

The Belle that is being preserved in Memphis is the original. Do a google search for their website. Really goes into detail on that airplane.

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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Fri Jan 02, 2004 1:34 am

Here's something you may want to look at...
This will list all known B-17s, B-24s & B-29s survivors, and known airworthy examples. First time I saw this website, I was on it for hours. Good luck & regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Fri Jan 02, 2004 12:36 pm

Hours? I've spent days at that site.

As to the original question, no B-17 flying today was in combat during WWII.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Fri Jan 02, 2004 10:44 pm

Here is a good site on flying/nonflying B-17s
"damn, I didnt know prince could Ball like that" - Charlie Murphy
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Sat Jan 03, 2004 7:32 am

The Collings foundation currently operates the B-17 "Nine-o-Nine", the B-24 "Dragon and His Tail", B-25 "Tondelayo" plus many other aircraft. You can ride in these aircraft if you donate money to help keep this legends flying. I have met Mr. Collings myself and he is a great man. His foundation's love for aviation has got me watching for their next trip to Pittsburgh. I always make it a must to visit the group when they are in town. THeir URL is as follows,

Have a great day and keep the blue side up.

Trikes are for kids!
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 4:36 am

Me and several of my friends went up on Nine-0-Nine and Dragon 2 years ago. Its well worth the money for the ride. It gave me new respect for the fighting airmen over Europe/Japan. Absolutely amazing !! Thanks for their web sight ATCT will log on and check it out.
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:43 am

The Collings Foundation's "Nine-O-Nine" and B-24 are gorgeous a/c:

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Photo © William Anthony - AIRFRAMES
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Photo © William Anthony - AIRFRAMES

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Photo © William Anthony - AIRFRAMES
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Photo © William Anthony - AIRFRAMES

Both a/c visited us at the Museum last year. It was great to hear the big radials rumble up close.

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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:26 am

Seems like just the other day but in the summer of 1973 I flew into Chester CA and found myself sharing the traffic pattern with FIVE B-17's. Even that long ago it was an amazing experience. They were all air tankers and it was a bad fire season. They are far too valuable for such use now.

As a brand-new private pilot in 1965 I just missed a chance to fly a B-17. I've been trying to correct that ever since. Think I'd like to do that over a ride in the space shuttle.

Well, maybe not.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Tue Feb 03, 2004 2:29 pm

We are lucky enough to have Nine-O-Nine come near here to New Smyrna Beach airport (NSB) for maintenance. This year we had the added bonus of having the B-17 Aluminum Overcast (EAA's I believe) down there on tour at the same time. So a CFI buddy of mine and myself hauled ourselved down there in a 172 to see what's doing, and even though we had to switch planes (POH was absent) and ended up there after the 'tour' officially closed, they were gracious enough to let us tour the beauties ourselves.

Inside the hangar they also had the F-4 Corsair that Dale Snodgrass had done a belly landing in at the same airport. Collins son had ditched the F-4 off the coast back in 97 after running out of fuel. Several years and lots of money later, Snodgrass took the Corsair up at NSB without retracting the gear. All's fine. Then 2 days later he takes it up again for some airwork. Right gear won't go down. Retract and try again. No luck. Bounce the bird off the runway on the left main to try and shake the right loose. No joy. So, gear up, engine off and lay it down on the gull wings. Excellent job, no choice, but now that tragic bird is being rebuilt yet again.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:15 am

KYIP is home to Yankee Lady, a B-17 that was made 13 days before WWII ended, so it never saw combat. It served in various civilian roles and was later restored. It is a beautiful airplane!!!
"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Sat Feb 07, 2004 10:08 am


Sorry to hear about the F4U-5NL, I was really looking forward to seeing it on the air show circuit finally.

I have photo of it going through it's post ditching restoration:

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Photo © Shawn Clark

Dale's a good pilot (met him on several occasions) if he had to belly land it, then there was postively nothing else that he could have done.
At worst, you screw up and die.
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RE: Remaining B-17s Still Flying?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:10 pm

Agreed PPGMD, it is a shame. And you're right about Dale, I have the utmost respect for him as a pilot (not having met him, but seeing him on the airshow circuit for years and his reputation).

On a side note, just found out recently that Dale and Patty Wagstaff were a couple. Might be common knowledge but was news to me. I have a cool picture from a website of Patty in her Laser and Dale in a F-4 (ironicaly) flying formation. They both live near here in St.Augustine. I have met her and respect them both.

Nice picture.
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