Ant72LBA
Topic Author
Posts: 374
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:42 am

How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:10 am

After finding out that there is only 1 B-29 still flying (one more being renovated I believe) I'd be interested to know how many of the each of the hundreds of different WW2 (or other "vintage" planes) are still flying?

Each summer seems to bring another casualty as an elderly plane crashes at an airshow. I seem to recall a recently restored Mosquito (?) crashing in the UK not too long ago and didn't a B-17 crash at RAF Scampton during the making of Memphis Belle?

At what stage should someone say these planes are too valuable to risk losing and ground them forever?

Probably gone a bit off my own topic there but any info appreciated.

(PS - thanks to F86sabre for the info about "Fifi")
 
Spacepope
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

RE: How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:42 am

Come to Thunder Over Michigan this year. So far they have scheduled to fly: 7 B-17s, 2 B-24s, the B-29, possibly a lancaster, and at least 4 B-25s.....

I would assume the noise of all of those engines would be deafening.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
flyf15
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:51 am

Well, as far as grounding them goes, there are many non-flying examples of a lot of these planes left...
 
SlamClick
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:35 am

I remember the Smithsonian on the subject of their restoration of an F-4U Corsair. They said something like: "This is not the best Corsair in the world today, but in five hundred years it will be the only one."
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
dl021
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Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:02 pm

Most of these aircraft are in private hands and they will be flown as long as spares can be found or fabricated and low lead fuel can be purchased.

The FAA and CAA already issue experimental certificates on most of them (C-47's and other transports can have commercial ones, but the fighters and bombers can't usually get them) and they would not have it in their purview to deny them certificates as long as they can be safely flown.

There will be examples in museums for a long time, probably for as long as civilization lasts, but the flying ones should be kept in the air as long as possible, because they certainly have their days numbered.

Of course, there is always going to be the enterprising individual/foundation that will build their own from spares and salvage. See the Liberty Belle Foundation for a brand new B-17G.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
SATL382G
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Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:02 am

RE: How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:42 pm

Quoting DL021 (reply 4):
Of course, there is always going to be the enterprising individual/foundation that will build their own from spares and salvage. See the Liberty Belle Foundation for a brand new B-17G.


..and some enterprising individuals are building new warbirds from scratch, complete with official manufacturers construction numbers...

http://www.stormbirds.com/project/index.html
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
LeanOfPeak
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:18 am

RE: How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:39 pm

http://www.warbirdregistry.org has that info. The quickest way that I've found is to open the model in which you're interested and peruse the list of serials for "A's" (For Airworthy).

I don't see a wholesale grounding of any warbirds in the future. What cuts numbers down to 1 or 2 for a type is when you specify "Airworthy." There are generally at least a half dozen "Display" or "Stored" frames in addition. I just don't see what it would solve to take the airworthy number from 2 to 0 just for the sake of taking the number of display frames from 6 to 8.

While it is sad to lose rare aircraft in crashes, what would be sadder would be to relegate the airworthy frames to display status and remove them all from our skies forever. There's just something special about a meticulously-restored old engine rumbling by on a low pass that a static display airframe, no matter how awe-inspiring, just can't even come close to matching.
 
ba97
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:42 am

RE: How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:53 pm

I understand there are only 2 Lancasters flying. One is down the road in Hamilton Ontario at the museum. You can visit, walk right up to the mechanics working on the planes when you are there. To hear the baby fired up and fly over your head is so sweet.
there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:24 am

SATL...I toured their facility at Paine Field. It sits right across from the B-52 sitting on the tarmac and their chief test pilot is Paul Allens personal pilot. Those airplanes are so authentic that the Messerschmidt foundation is the buyer on the second airframe.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
SATL382G
Posts: 2679
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:02 am

RE: How Many ......... Are Still Flying?

Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:44 am

DL021 -- Have they sold the other airframes yet? Did you go see the Comet and 727 #1 while you were there?

regards
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill

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