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Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:51 pm 
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Location: Chrishall Grange ~ England
B-17G "Mary Alice" is housed in the American Air Museum at Duxford Airfield in England.

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This aircraft collection are held in a climate controlled condition for their long term conservation. However the design makes it very difficult to change the display format.
The front glass wall can be removed ( at considerable expense ) but it's not something that going to happen very often.

Imagine my surprise when I heard that the B-17 is due come out of the building for work to be done in the Conservation Hanger !
The plan is not to remove the glass wall ~ they're going to disassemble the B-17 and bring it out in pieces through the doors ( highlighted here by me in red )

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And preparation work in now underway .....

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The two guys pictured below have been given their marching orders ~ having done nothing in the last ten years.

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I noticed they were both AWOL today now that work's started

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It looks like the outer wing panels will come off ....

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And there's work going on at the tail too

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The final two pix for this post are a bit graphic and not for the faint hearted ......

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Uh oh ...... it's the Wing Attachment Bolts :shock:

There's a work party due to go in on Sunday to move things along and I'm intending to visit and get more pix :D

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Last edited by bomberflight on Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Good Grief.., what a task!

I am not sure about the size of the opening vs. the size of the B-17, even in pieces. THAT, I want to see happen! :wink:

Please send us updates!!


Cheers

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Wow, what an undertaking. Thanks for the update :D


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Stupid they didn't build it with hangar doors.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Fouga23 wrote:
Stupid they didn't build it with hangar doors.

Agree totally!! Someone was not thinking on that one

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:09 pm 
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Well I arrived today just after they had removed the wingtip

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The surprise was the amount of surface corrosion on this panel

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Remember this is a climate controlled museum building ~ not an aircraft hangar :?

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Everything is being bagged and tagged before going into specific storage boxes

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I wanted to try and give a sense of how tight things are for space. The B-29 tail tail is right over the wing of the B-17

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By mid-afternoon the engine panels were coming off in preparation for removing the props and then the engines.

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The project team now need the glass wall contractor to come in to remove the frame between the doors and the top panels.
That will allow equipment to be brought into the AAM building for the props / engines removal.

And finally for this post ..... it looks like the wrong serial number on the chock ~ I'd never noticed before.

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I really do feel like I've won the lottery to have a B-17 going through the restoration process so close to home.

Another update soon :wink:

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Consolidated by US state ~ see if there's a heavy bomber tour stop coming to an airport near you ...... http://www.bomberflight.info

Warbirdapps on facebook ~ every day a new image from my personal journey thru the world of warbirds ..... https://www.facebook.com/Warbirdapps


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Lottery, indeed!

Awesome shots, thank you so much!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:35 pm 
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Read about this earlier today. Great updates bomberflight. What's the plan once work has been completed? Rebuild in the AAM or to slot her back into place when the glass wall is removed for whatever reason in the future?

I read that the ceiling unsealed concrete roof is causing the corrosion as it can contain calcium salts that can cause corrosion. Any plans to seal the roof? I guess it would be a mammoth task to complete.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:13 am 
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The plan is to complete the conservation work and repaint the aircraft. It may be in a new scheme ~ we'll have to wait and see.

Then the B-17 will then go back into the American Air Museum in sections and be reassembled inside the building.

In 2014 the glass comes out and all the aircraft will be inspected. The ones that are suspended from the roof need to be checked to ensure they
are structurally sound to go back up.

At the Autumn Air Show last year it was announced that the AAM was to undergo some refurbishment at the same time ~ so if cement dust from the roof is causing a problem I guess it can be tackled then.

Fund raising for this huge task in 2014 is underway in the U.S.

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Peter

Consolidated by US state ~ see if there's a heavy bomber tour stop coming to an airport near you ...... http://www.bomberflight.info

Warbirdapps on facebook ~ every day a new image from my personal journey thru the world of warbirds ..... https://www.facebook.com/Warbirdapps


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:51 am 
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Thanks for the information bomberflight, going to keep up to date with progress on here. Hoping to get back to Duxford this year, haven't been for a fair few years.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:02 pm 
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Some snaps I took in the mid-80s:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:02 pm 
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Back of the flight deck, only the top turret's canopy had been installed at this time:

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Bomb racks hadn't been installed at this time, which made crossing the catwalk a tad tricky as I was only about 10 and couldn't reach the roof to steady myself. There was a chap rigging the control wires in the bomb bay that day I recall:

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Tail gunner's oxygen regulator:

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Ball turret, with strike camera hatch at the top of the shot:

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Last edited by RAMC181 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Undercarriage bay, looking forward:
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Looking straight up:
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Turning around and facing aft:
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A partial view of the original Mary Alice in the bottom left, showing the main part of the vertical stabiliser in NMF and a bare rudder.
I'm working my way through the 401BG formation diagrams to try to identify the mission and date of this photo:

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That S looks a bit cramped in the triangle, probably compensating for the tiny G call letter underneath.

Bare-metal Cheyenne position fitted at one point too, quite likely replacing the original one shredded by German fire:

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Interestingly, from her serial number Mary Alice would have been supplied from the factory in NMF and was painted at some point prior to beginning combat operations. ;)

All the best,
PB

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401BG Association Director & Honorary Life Member
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Archive & Collections Manager, Airfield Research Group Archive, Alconbury


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:00 am 
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Paul ~ thanks for your superb contribution to this thread :drink3:

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Peter

Consolidated by US state ~ see if there's a heavy bomber tour stop coming to an airport near you ...... http://www.bomberflight.info

Warbirdapps on facebook ~ every day a new image from my personal journey thru the world of warbirds ..... https://www.facebook.com/Warbirdapps


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:12 am 
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bomberflight wrote:
The surprise was the amount of surface corrosion on this panel

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Remember this is a climate controlled museum building ~ not an aircraft hangar :?

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Having spent a good bit of time working on another late-production Douglas B-17--that corrosion looks pretty typical. I don't think the current environment is exacerbating the problem to a great degree. It's good that they are going to address the issues and give her a redo, though.

Thanks for the thread, Bomberflight. Working on Fortresses was fun.
Scott


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