Warbird Information Exchange

B-17G "Chuckie" Update
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Author:  CrewDawg [ Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  B-17G "Chuckie" Update

Hello everyone, I'm one of the volunteers at the Vintage Flying Museum in Ft. Worth, the home of B-17G Chuckie, B-25 Pacific Prowler, and DC-3 Southern Cross. I just wanted to update what's been going on with "Chuckie". She's been going through the wing spar A.D. inspection and we have just recently begun the annual inspection. So far we have not found any major problems, just the normal dings, dents, cracks and minor corrosion. Our hope is to have her back in the air towards the end of this air show season. I've been given the job of supervising the inspection and am lucky enough to have some great guys helping me out. I'm an experience A&P, but am fairly new to the B-17 so if any of you long time Fort mechanics have any words of advice, I'm all ears. I'll try to post some pics from time to time to hopefully show our progress. I don't forsee anything near as extensive as Texas Raiders, though. :D
Right now I'm concentrating on getting her back in airworthy condition and the cosmetics and detailed restoration work will come after that.

Layne working on #3


Come by and say hi, if you're in the DFW area.

Author:  Second Air Force [ Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:26 am ]
Post subject: 

Welcome to WIX!

PM sent.


Author:  TAdan [ Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:06 am ]
Post subject: 

Welcome to WIX! I look forward to seeing Chuckie's progress. :D

Author:  CrewDawg [ Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Thank you

Thanks for the warm welcome! I'll try to live up the high standards set by Spanner and Sabremech.

Author:  Ztex [ Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:10 pm ]
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Great to have you on board Bill! ... the VFM and WIX!

Author:  CrewDawg [ Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:21 pm ]
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Thanks Zane, and thanks for joining our facebook group too. Maybe one day we'll get to meet in person.

Author:  CrewDawg [ Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

I guess while I'm here I might as well update what work we got done this weekend. I was unable to make it out on Saturday but from what I heard, Mike continued the inspection of #4 engine, Jeremiah pulled what seemed to be a condor's nest out of the vertical stab and rudder, Leo made more progress on pulling the floors in the bomb/nav station and cleaning underneath.
I did make it out today (Sunday) and managed to get a little further along on the inspection of #1 engine. I'm happy to report that so far we have not found any show stopping discrepancies. A lot of little nit noid stuff, but nothing a little TLC won't take care of. Dean came out today too and helped, but got recruited for tour guide duty so didn't get to do too much on Chuckie either.

I was interuppted by the whoop whoop whoop of the Collings Foundation UH-1E Huey landing outside. It seems that he was in Tyler and rather than flying back to Houston and then back up to Ft. Worth for the Cowtown Warbird Round-Up on the 25th, they're going to park it in Ft. Worth until then. I'm not sure if it's going to stay at the VFM until the 25th or not. I wasn't included on that memo. He said he had an interesting flight considering that we had roughly 20 to 30 knot winds today.

Speaking of the Cowtown Warbird Round Up, it's going to be at the main terminal ramp at Meacham this year and not at our hangar. If you come out please stop by the VFM and say hi and drop a dollar or two in the dontation box.

Nine O Nine and Witchcraft were in Dallas at Love Field (Frontiers of Flight Museum) this weekend. I got a chance to see them when they stopped by Denton earlier this week. Very nice looking bombers! The P-51C is with them too. That was the first time I got to see a C model Mustang up close. What a treat!

Pacific Prowler is due in tonight, back from Tuscaloosa. The B-25 will be home for a week or so until the weekend after Easter, then back out on the air show circuit. Not sure where, check out www.b25.org for the schedule.
Anyway, that's all for this weekend, hopefully I'll have more exciting news and pictures next weekend.

Author:  the330thbg [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:31 am ]
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Not to be a critic.., because she is looking FINE but it looks like your 'G' model is missing something quite crucial..., :?

There has to be a great backstory as to the missing chin gun?

Author:  cozmo [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:28 pm ]
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Oh heck, I have some 1980's pictures showing Chuckie with no turrets. She is coming along nicely.


Author:  CrewDawg [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:56 pm ]
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Thank you for the compliment, we think she's looking pretty good too. We would be happy to accept your donation if you happen to have a spare B-17G chin turrett cluttering up your garage! Seriously, we believe the chin turret was removed shortly after she was delivered and went to Dayton Army Airfield as part of the All Weather Flying Service. The first year of records for Chuckie are a quite sketchy. The upper turret dome is purely cosmetic. We do have an upper turrett in storage, but I doubt it will ever be installed, as it takes up room that can be used for flying guests. I'm in agreement with you though, I would love to install a chin turret in her!

Author:  Ztex [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

As to the chin turret....(crucial missing G-Model stuff) THe VFM has portions of a chin turret and has had plans in the past to make a shell and install it. But...there is some reluctance to do so because of several factors. (Some of these I cannot confirm or deny and some is from long term memory :wink: )

There seems to be some debate as to whether this airplane ever had a chin turret in place. Some of the structure to support the turret seems to be either missing or never installed. There are some who believe that because this is a pathfinder/RADAR ship there was no chin turret installed. I have never seen photos of a pathfinder ship without a chin turret.

Also the turret creates drag and drag costs fuel and the VFM runs on a tight budget anyway.....

Author:  the330thbg [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:18 pm ]
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I know.., let's just crank one out of fibreglass and a two broom handles drilled with some holes to look like 50 cals!.

Good Grief.

I just wanted to know the backstory.

It had one, but they had to sell it to replace a cowling.

One of the ex-maintenance guys was ticked off and stole it to make a hot tub for his ex-wife.

You know., the good stuff that goes along with aviation.

Author:  Warbird Kid [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:00 pm ]
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Why not do the next big thing? Modify this G much like the Tallichet B-17, and get yourself an F model B-17? :D :wink:

Author:  SPANNERmkV [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

Welcome to WIX Bill!

Not too surprised about the bird's nest!
We had one in #4 Engine's air intake!
Which means we have to take a look at the other 3 whether we want to or not! :lol:

Looking forward to flying an ALL TEXAS three ship with CHUCKIE, TEXAS RAIDERS and THUNDERBIRD...


Author:  CrewDawg [ Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:23 pm ]
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We're pedaling as fast as we can. 3 Texas B-17's in formation WILL be great!

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