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Old 06-03-2014, 08:08 AM
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Default Memphis Belle in town this weekend

A B-17 buzzed my office yesterday Since there are only a handful of these beauties still airworthy it wasn't too hard to track down what she was up to.

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Old 06-03-2014, 08:15 AM
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It's neat to check out this old iron (well aluminum anyway) when it comes to town, even if you can't afford the ride. Keeping these things airworthy is a true labor of love. Another of the B-17s came to town a few years ago and I happened to notice on the way to work, which happened to be in an office park near the airport. They are fairly liberal in how they identify and name these B-17s, there is probably not one single bolt in this particular Memphis Belle shared with the original one, they are more like flying tributes. But just researching the history of the actual airframe is pretty fun, too.

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One of only about 15 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses still air worthy (there are only something like 100 air frames left), this one belongs to the E.A.A. and recently stopped in Denver for a visit. They parked it at Centennial Airport, which is very close to my work and on the way to work Friday morning I had to check it out. This one specifically did not see action, its serial number is 4485740 (so built in 1944 and delivered on May 18, 1945 to the Army), but painted with tail number 2102516 to remember a plane shot down over France in 1944. Vets of the 398th helped restore this B-17 and so it's a tribute to them. The 2102516 originally belonged to the 8th Air Force, stationed in England. The 'W' inside a black triangle on the tail designates that it belonged to the 398th Division. It is further painted in a scheme used after July 1944, where they added the red wing tips and tail stripe. Based on the serial number of 210xxxx, it would have been manufactured in 1942. The stabilizer blocks the view of the fuselage, but it's marked with a 3OH, which means it belonged to the 601st Squadron (3O) and the 'H' plane within that squadron. It's nickname is Aluminum Overcast and has been said to have 1 million miles in its log. Even if it never saw actual combat, it's lived a long and productive life since, flying cargo, doing mapping and serving as a duster.




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Also parked on the ramp was another vintage World War II aircraft. In this case it's a plane owned by a fella here in Denver, who I believe is involved with the Wings Over the Rockies organization (they sponsored the B-17 visit). It's a North American SNJ-6B Texan, serial number 112229, originally owned by the U.S. Navy.


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Old 06-03-2014, 08:46 AM
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I saw EAA's "Aluminum Overcast" in N Virginia last year.

IMG_7105 by blindranger, on Flickr
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:18 AM
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Cool
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:50 PM
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Oh, I'd love to go up in one of those.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:43 PM
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It was in Salt Lake giving rides this past week, so damn cool to see it floating through the sky. They fly really low over the valley too
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:42 AM
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I don't know if it's that one or a different bird but every summer there is one that flies from centennial and makes a loop over the Ranch. most can see it. It's cool to go up to daniels park and watch it lumber through the sky
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:44 AM
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It was at the Air Show at Rocky Mtn Metro airport last year. It was neat to see.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:03 AM
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I have about 250 hours flying one of these for Aviation Specialties spraying in Montana in the summer of 1966. N3193G was a great aircraft and handled like a big cub.

It is still flying as part of the Yankee Air Museum in Michigan. Here is a link to the history of the plane. Terry

http://www.yankeeairmuseum.org/b17-flying-fortress/
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:46 AM
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I grew up just a few miles from the Bomber Gas Station, and was on the flight path all the historical planes would take when they did a fly over the Bomber, then up the Willamette River through Portland Oregon.



It was so freakin epic to have the house start to shake as they came by low and slow. If we were quick enough we could get out into the front yard in time to get their attention

Nothing like having a bomber flying low enough over your house that you could see the pilots waving and smiling. I'm guessing I saw every B-17 that ventured into the NW fly over my house at least once as a kid.
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