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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:42 am 
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With the news of the premature ending of Liberty Foundations B-17 tour of “Ye Olde Pub “ on 3/15/20, I wanted to survey the status of the twelve known airworthy B-17’s:

1. B-17G 44-8543; Ye Olde Pub; USA Touring Status to end 3/15/20; status TBD
2. B-17G 44-8846; Pink Lady; France Grounded
3. B-17G 44-83514; Sentimental Journey; USA Airworthy and currently touring with CAF
4. B-17G 44-83546; (Movie) Memphis Belle: USA temporarily grounded
5. B-7G 44-83563; Fuddy Duddy; USA temporarily grounded
6. B-17G 44-83785; Outhouse Mouse; USA Airworthy; Status TBD
7. B-17G 44-83972; Texas Raiders; USA Airworthy and currently touring with CAF
8. B-17G 44-85718; Thunderbird; USA; temporarily grounded
9. B-17G 44-85740; Aluminum Overcast; USA airworthy and currently touring with the EAA
10. B-17G 44-85778; Miss Angela; USA grounded
11. B-17G 44-85784; Sally B; UK Airworthy; Status TBD
12. B-17G 44-85829; Yankee Lady; USA; Airworthy and currently touring with YAF


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:45 am 
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B-17G 44-85784 - Sally B is undergoing winter maintenance and is expected to fly again this summer season. Photo showing an undercarriage retraction test here: https://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic ... 75#p885924

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:06 pm 
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My thoughts on this. With the recent news of many B-17 "groundings" - it's not all doom and gloom. As far as I know, each of those groups that have declared that their B-17's will no longer provide passenger rides - it's just that. No where in those public statements / press releases have they mentioned that the aircraft are permanently grounded, just that they will no longer be taking people up for money or continue to tour. So each of those B-17's are likely to remain airworthy, but probably will fly very little until things settle a bit.

I believe most of these groundings have to do with 2 things:

1) The dramatic rise in insurance costs for B-17's which drastically reduces the profit margin for passenger rides.

2) The uncertainty of the regulatory fallout, post-Collings crash, and how that will impact the FAA rules regarding selling passenger rides in warbirds.

Both of these should stabilize somewhat within a couple of years. At that time, I believe that more operators will be open to possibly sell rides again.

There is one bright side, however. One organization, that has not previously before, will start selling B-17 rides in the near future. I expect the public announcement to be released officially sometime this year. So I don't "steal their thunder", I'll let them announce it at their own time and choosing. And no, I won't say who it is here, but anyone can figure it out as the information is in the public realm - though somewhat hidden.

Just my 2 cents.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:01 pm 
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Pink Lady has not been officially grounded - she is in airworthy state. The problem with this ship is the European rules and insurance - if she was sold to an investor in the United States, she would have not problem being flown back over the pond.

44-83785 is not outhouse mouse - Shady Lady. They spent hundred of hours polishing this ship highly doubtful they will paint her in some fantasy olive Drab scheme. She is also in an airworthy, but not flown state


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:43 pm 
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wolf wrote:
44-83785 is not outhouse mouse - Shady Lady. They spent hundred of hours polishing this ship highly doubtful they will paint her in some fantasy olive Drab scheme. She is also in an airworthy, but not flown state


Collings isn't going to be operating a polished bare metal aircraft of that size on national tours (lessons in that regard were learned in trying to maintain the polished TP-51C "Betty Jane" on the national tours, which it too is now fully painted in OD/grey). Its been the talk around town for quite some time now that 44-83785 will be painted as "Outhouse Mouse" once all of the work is completed on it. There is still some work actively being done on it right now before it goes back to New Smyrna/American Aero.

With regard to "Ye Olde Pub" - it was flown by Erickson, its owner, prior to the Liberty Foundation leasing it, and I would fully expect that it will continue to fly out of Madras, as it had before (and quite a bit), when it is handed back to Erickson again. Some weeks ago it got its Cheyenne tail turret section put back on again (painted to match the rest of the scheme), which was a good clue the aircraft was beginning its transition back to Erickson.

It would seem that the Tallichet family would like to see "The Movie Memphis Belle" continue to fly, and although the NWM ended its lease, hopefully it can find enough financial support to keep it operational. It has been wintering in Florida I believe, at Warbird Adventures, but there is still the idea of having it fly to Geneseo for special events.

I wonder if Jerry Yagen would ever be inclined to add a B-17 back to the Military Aviation Museum again?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:27 am 
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wolf wrote:
Pink Lady has not been officially grounded - she is in airworthy state. The problem with this ship is the European rules and insurance - if she was sold to an investor in the United States, she would have not problem being flown back over the pond.


Yes and no : the plane was airworthy when flown to La Ferté-Alais to become a static display but was/is in need of a deep maintenance restoration to be put airworthy for a reasonable long period. Normal with a 80 years old machine.
The aging team taking care of her was not in the move to start such a work and yes, the rise of assurance cost was the final point to ground her.
Crossings finger that I will not be the end of flying for her.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:15 am 
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I think “ grounding “ isn’t the best word to use. It implies something is wrong with the airplane or it’s mandated by the owner or FAA. The military “ stands down” from time to time . Maybe because of a series of accidents or. Just to do some crew training that’s safety related. In my opinion, there’s not a darn thing wrong with the B-17 Fleet. Maybe we should say “ parked” or airworthy in temporary storage.” Let’s be honest, these planes could be fired up and flown if the owners desired. Ask any pilot and they’ll tell you they don’t like the word “ grounding, or grounded.”
Thanks. I do contract flying and not scheduled to fly today. I haven’t been grounded, I’m waiting for future assignment.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:31 am 
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You really need to use words other than airworthy and grounded to describe these aircraft.

Pink Lady, Fuddy Duddy, Outhouse Mouse and Miss Angela are not airworthy, but could be made so with some (variable) amount of effort. So they are out of the conversation of airworthy aircraft.

Of the eight airworthy aircraft, none have been grounded:

The Movie Memphis Belle, and Ye Olde Pub (after this weekend) are no longer touring.

Thunderbird has no plans to fly for the remainder of this year.

Sally B plans to fly this year

The remaining 4 have LHFE programs planned.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:32 pm 
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Hmm. Just flew home into Tucson today and saw an olive-drab B-17 parked on the ramp. Had a 1-second glimpse out the window of row 16 as we were touching down... which one would that be?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:54 pm 
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Ye Old Pub/Madras Maiden/Chuckie.

http://www.ericksoncollection.com/helic ... rd-flights

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