Ohio museum volunteers constructing vintage B-17
As volunteers and enthusiasts at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre here in Britain continue to work towards getting a third Avro Lancaster bomber restored to airworthy condition, so their counterparts at the Champaign Aviation Museum in Urbana, Ohio U.S.A., are undertaking an even more mammoth task - to rebuild an example of the United States' primary Second World War heavy bomber, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.
Of the forty-six surviving B-17 airframes known to exist around the world, thirteen are currently in airworthy condition - including Sally B, the only flying example in Britain, based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. The majority are of course located in museums across America and in a few years' time, if all goes well, they will be joined by this fourteenth - Champaign Lady.
With the famous Memphis Belle currently undergoing restoration at the nearby National Museum of the U.S.A.F. and destined never to fly again following designation as a national treasure, it is more important than ever that airworthy examples of this aircraft continue flying in the future. The prospect of one built to modern tolerances with largely new parts is an exciting one, as it will no doubt ensure that at least one B-17 Flying Fortress will be flying and thrilling new generations for decades to come. Good luck to them, say I, and I can't wait to see it!