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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Hello all,

I have recently had the good fortune of joining the volunteer restoration staff for the B-17G City of Savannahhere in Savannah, GA. I have had the privilege to spend the last 3 Wednesdays working on the plane. Talk about a bunch of great guys! The restoration staff are all extremely generous with their time, and all are dedicated to making this aircraft as authentic as possible, which is clearly evidenced by the massive strides the staff have made in the past 2 years since the aircraft first arrived. I am starting this thread to give everyone an inside look at the restoration, and I intend to post weekly updates with pictures. I am extremely impressed with the efforts these men and women have made to date, and am proud to be playing a small role in this aircraft's "return-to-glory." Enjoy!

Matt

The first set of shots is from last Wednesday 02/29/12

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Scratch-built step (1 of 2) leading from the bomb-bay into the flight deck. Amazing piece of craftsmanship...

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The other side of the step made from original drawings in-house...look at how complex this thing is!!!

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This Cheyenne tail turret was recovered from a wreck in Alaska. You can clearly see the corrosion and the monumental task our guys have ahead. Luckily, the restoration staff recently worked out a deal with the Grissom Air Museum folks, and we received their tail turret to use as a guide in essentially building ours from scratch! We'll take good care of it, guys!

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My job this day was painting the left main undercarriage and inside rim. Another gentleman had done the outer portion of the rim, and it looked fantastic! This is before, with the masking tape evident...

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And after! Ha...can't really see too much of a difference, but it looks really nice, if I do say so myself!

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Here is a shot of the patch under the nose of the aircraft. I believe this stems from its tenure in Canada with Kenting Aviation. Our guys have to recreate the original nose structure in order to eventually re-mount the chin turret. This has to be done very carefully, as the original structure was heavily modified over the years to accommodate cameras and other equipment.

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Seriously, how many times in this lifetime will I get the chance to stick my head up inside the wing of a B-17 and see all the internals of what made it tick???

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This is probably one of my favorite parts about working on this restoration...seeing all the old placards and equipment that I know was on the aircraft when she left the factory...Here are a couple more:

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In the bomb-bay

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Looking up into the nacelle of No. 2 engine

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Bomb-bay door motor

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Warning placard on the rear bomb-bay bulkhead

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Bomb-bay looking aft into the radio room/ waist area

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Cockpit as she currently sits

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Tail wheel well

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...and all packed up for the day!

These pictures are from this past Wednesday, 03/07/12

Upon arriving at the museum, I was greeted by not only the "new" tail turret we've been loaned, but this Sperry top turret recovered from Ohio! We spent the morning breaking down our latest acquisition and assessing its condition...

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The turret is remarkably complete with pedestals, but has suffered considerable corrosion from exposure to the elements. She will take a lot of work...

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I was told to keep my eyes peeled for this manual...anyone know where I could locate one? If so, please PM me!

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Here's a good look at our "new" Cheyenne turret. Many thanks to the guys at Grissom Air Museum for loaning it to us.

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The turret is in very good shape and still contained a few remnants from her service life:

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I was really surprised to see that the overhead panel still had the insulation quilting attached...how cool is that?!

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Interior of the turret

That's all for today, but I promise to keep you all updated as time progresses. Thanks for your interest!

Matt

P.S.
http://s1074.photobucket.com/albums/w411/matm1121/
There are a few more pics on my Photobucket site. They are mostly located in the sub-albums, fyi. Feel free to have a look around, and if anyone has picture requests, (model builders???) I will do my best to accommodate. Cheers! -M.M.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:28 am 
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WOW! looking good, thanks for the update.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:47 pm 
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AWESOME Update! Love seeing another B-17 getting some TLC. :). So where did yall come across the top turret? Great find.

Travis

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:26 am 
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Yup, a new thread for me to be following! I love these restoration threads!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Wow stunning work well done!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:02 pm 
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Thanks for the updates. Looking forward to seeing the Grissom tail replicated. 8)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:31 am 
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Guys, thank you for all the interest! I will hopefully have a new post tomorrow evening, following my day at the museum. I believe the top turret surfaced in Ohio. The story I heard was that it'd been partially buried in someone's back yard! Apparently it'd been an outdoor play-toy for someone's kids. The elements have certainly taken their toll...but this is a project I look forward to, as the results will be very evident...and very rewarding! Thanks again for your interest.

Matt

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:51 am 
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Thanks for starting this fantastic thread! The Museum use to have monthly updates in PDF form on it's website but they quit for some reason (the link is gone). This fills the void nicely!!!
I believe the Smithsonian has the original tail turret for this B-17 on display in one of their museums (not the NASM). They removed it from the plane when they placed the B-17 in storage in the 80's. I thought they would give it up with the main aircraft but apparently not. I would be nice if it was reunited with the aircraft...
Can you get any pic's of the exterior?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Nice thread showing nice work.
FutureCorsairOwner wrote:
Image

Tail wheel well

Ahh, I see a system colour keycode and one of the servos still there just peeking over the top of the structure.
Are the other two still fitted to the aeroplane?
One of them should be immediately in front of the one you can see in the piccy.

Also notice proper B-17 wheels fitted. (not B29/P2V units).

Bomberboy


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:49 pm 
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I believe the Sperry came via MAPS Air Museum in Akron, OH. It was donated to MAPS who determine it should be someplace where it can be used.

http://mapsairmuseum.org/sperry-turret-comes-to-maps/
http://www.auroraadvocate.com/news/article/5134955


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:31 am 
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Wow, that upper turret is quite a crazy find. Amazing that it survived just sitting in the woods. :o Nice of MAPS to send it to Savannah. 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:00 pm 
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I have made all the nose bulkheads for the F model and the G model.City of savanah has a stinger tailgun position and I have made all the parts for one.Pm me for any details. Hang

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:58 am 
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I had the privilege of seeing this great old bomber at the Museum last month. Thanks to everyone involved for the continuing restoration of an American World War II icon.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:22 pm 
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...we had the opportunity to produce a customized "City Of Savannah" for the Mighty Eighth. This aircraft was handcrafted and hand painted from mahogany, and is truly unique. The museum will have its demo the second week of May....I know this project has been a long process, and we only had a few photos to go with, but I think that the replica came out quite nice. It's approx. 19 inches in length. I can PM a photo of this aircraft!


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 1:29 am 
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Ok, I'm ready for another update and more pictures..please. :D

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