• B-17 Nine-O-Nine Photographs

    From Larry Dighera@21:1/5 to All on Sun Oct 6 10:09:52 2019
    In April of this year, I had an opportunity to experience the Boeing
    B-17G Flying Fortress Nine-O-Nine that recently crashed subsequent to
    the failure of engine number 4 (right side).
    ATC Audio: https://youtu.be/weNLHLWSg6g

    The Collings Foundation flew several of their restored war-birds to
    Santa Barbara Municipal Airport on the Pacific coast of California. My snapshots are on-line here: http://santabarbarahideaway.com/SantaBarbaraHideaway/gallery/main.php?cmd=album&var1=WingsOfFreedom-2019/
    The majority of the B-17 photographs are at the bottom of the page,
    and a few are closer to the top: http://santabarbarahideaway.com/SantaBarbaraHideaway/gallery/main.php?cmd=image&var1=WingsOfFreedom-2019%2FP1030719.JPG&var2=0_85_copyright.png_RD
    The high resolution full-size images are about 4MB in size.

    I found the experience of being inside these Spartan implements of war
    somehow provided an emotional link to what those brave boys who flew
    them on daily daylight bombing raids over Germany month after month
    must have felt (to some extent).

    If you have the opportunity to see the Collings planes, don't miss it. https://www.americanheritagemuseum.org/event/battle-for-the-airfield-wwii-re-enactment/

    No longer avoiding anti-aircraft fire or the terror of enemy fighters,
    the B-17 stands as a living history exhibit for the nation.
    The most widely recognized and revered aircraft type of World War II,
    the B-17 Flying Fortress, takes to the skies again. The B-17G (Serial
    # 44-83575) has been returned to its wartime configuration under the
    auspices of the nonprofit Collings Foundation of Stow, MA and given
    the name “Nine-O-Nine”.

    The Collings Flying Fortress was built at Long Beach, CA by the
    Douglas Aircraft Company and accepted on April 7, 1945. Although she
    was too late for combat, #44-83575 did serve as part of the Air/Sea
    1st Rescue Squadron and later in the Military Air Transport Service.

    In April 1952, #44-83575 was instrumented and subjected to the effects
    of three different nuclear explosions. After a thirteen-year “cool
    down” period, #44-83575 was sold as part of an 800-ton scrap pile and
    Aircraft Specialties Company began the restoration of the aircraft.

    Damaged skin was fabricated and replaced on site; engines and props
    were stripped, cleaned, repaired, and tested; four thousand feet of
    new control cable was installed; all electrical wiring and
    instrumentation was replaced. As she neared completion, the jeers and
    laughter of those who said she would never fly again faded as the
    sounds of four 1200 HP Wright-Cyclone engines echoed across the desert
    and “Yucca Lady” rose as the phoenix and climbed into the sky.

    For twenty years, without a major problem or incident, #44-83575
    served as a fire bomber dropping water and borate on forest fires. She
    was sold in January 1986 to the Collings Foundation. Restored back to
    her original wartime configuration by Tom Reilly Vintage Aircraft, she represented one of the finest B-17 restorations and won several

    In August 1987, while performing at an airshow in western
    Pennsylvania, “Nine-O-Nine” was caught by a severe crosswind moments
    after touchdown. The right wing lifted in the air, finally coming down
    too far down the runway. Despite the efforts of her crew, she rolled
    off the end of the runway, crashed through a chain link fence, sheared
    off a power pole and roared down a 100-foot ravine to a thundering
    stop. The landing gear sheared off, the chin turret was smashed and
    pushed into the nose; the Plexiglas nose was shattered; bomb bay
    doors, fuselage, fuselage, ball turret, wing and nacelles all took a
    tremendous beating. Engines and propellers were also torn form their
    mounts. Fortunately, there were no fatalities to the crew or riders
    although there were injuries.

    For a second time, this B-17 “rose from the ashes”. With nacelles from
    the famed B-17 “Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby”, thousands of volunteer hours,
    support from the folks of Beaver Falls, PA, and donations from
    individuals and corporations, she was made whole again to carry on the
    proud and rugged heritage of the B-17.

    Since the crash at Beaver Falls, the B-17 has succeeded in visiting
    over 1200 tour stops. This means that millions, who would otherwise
    never seen the Flying Fortress, have been able to experience first
    hand the plane that helped change the history of the world fifty years

    The Collings Foundation B-17 was named “Nine-O-Nine” in honor of a
    91st Bomb Group, 323rd Squadron plane of the same name which completed
    140 missions without an abort or loss of a crewman.

    The original “Nine-O-Nine” was assigned to combat on February 25,
    1944. By April 1945, she had made eighteen trips to Berlin, dropped
    562,000 pounds of bombs, and flown 1,129 hours. She had twenty-one
    engine changes, four wing panel changes, fifteen main gas tank
    changes, and 18 Tokyo tank changes (long-range fuel tanks). She also
    suffered from considerable flak damage.

    After European hostilities ceased, “Nine-O-Nine”, with its six-hundred
    patched holes, flew back to the United States. While the rigors of war
    never stopped the historic “Nine-O-Nine”, she succumbed at last to the scrappers guillotine, along with thousands of other proud aircraft.

    Tax deductible contributions to help pay off the annual operating
    costs of two thousand dollars per hour can be sent to the Collings
    Foundation at PO Box 248, Stow, MA. 10775.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)