B-17 Still Has Wings (VIDEO)
There are only about 11 flying B-17s left in the world. But the B-17F from the movie "Memphis Belle" is still trucking and recently arrived at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport for the Piston Power show at the end of September.
Crew Chief Gary Pasco said the B-17F "is the most original looking aircraft there is out there. It looks about the same as it did on an airfield in England in 1941."
B-17s have a history of appearing -- and crashing -- in WWII movies and during filming. In 1948, one was even intentionally crash landed for the film "12 O'Clock High" by Paul Mantz. Another -- not the one featured in the video -- crashed and burned during the filming of "Memphis Belle".
Recently, the B-17 Flying Fortress "Liberty Belle" crashed and burned this summer when the right inboard power plant caught fire and burned away the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator. In the tradition of steely nerved B-17 pilots, the pilot calmly put the plane down in a field and everybody got out before the plane was engulfed in flames, destroying the B-17.
One list of remaining B-17s still flying, undergoing restorations, and in museums can be found here.