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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:19 pm 
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Location: Palatine, Illinois

Guys,
Where do you think Ray got the tubes from? :-)

There are 5 B-17 rebuilds going on.
We all seem to work with one another in one
way, shape, or form. Ray, Don Brooks, and The Rat
are all collaborating.


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-Bill
B-17E 41-2595 "Desert Rat" Restoration Team


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:40 pm 
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Very bad storms including tornadoes in the area this evening; is everyone OK?

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All right, Mister Dorfmann, start pullin'!
Pilot: "Flap switch works hard in down position."
Mechanic: "Flap switch checked OK. Pilot needs more P.T." - Flight report, B-17G 42-102875


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:18 pm 
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hey everyone,

just a quick heads up on the tornadoes that were in the marengo area the other night. I talked to mike during the height of the storm and he said they were ok. I talked to him after and he told me there was no damage. The tornado went on an arc from the west to the north of the shop. Also the shop was thankfully well east of the damage path.

overall all is well.

I'll be headed up there saturday so hopefully I'll have some photos for you then.

James


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:19 pm 
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WGN posted there was golf ball sized hail in Marengo 25 minutes ago - hope all hatches are battened down.

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All right, Mister Dorfmann, start pullin'!
Pilot: "Flap switch works hard in down position."
Mechanic: "Flap switch checked OK. Pilot needs more P.T." - Flight report, B-17G 42-102875


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:06 am 
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hi everyone

so its been a while since i last posted anything. Totally my fault, i hadn't been getting to the plane as much as I would have liked and we had some work slowdowns as well as we waited for metal extrusions and such to come from the factory. Here are some recent photos though as we have made much progress on the radio room and on a new area of the aircraft.... The wings! Yes wing repair and restoration has begun.

on to the photos.!
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radio room rear wall replacement panels.

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radio room floor, outer skin, photo bay, and forward wall replacement in progress. If you know about the desert rat you know on the xc-108 the radio room was moved to behind the pilots. This entire area has to be rebuilt back to the -E standard. Many of the original parts are long gone (somewhere in a land fill at Wright Patt or in Budwiser cans.)

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Chris hard at work drilling, riveting, drilling again in the radio room area.

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blue prints and the floor cross beam to step into the waist gun area. Just this simple cross beam has 6 nutplates that have to be attached on each side. that means 18 holes of two different sizes have to be drilled (3 per plate) Just gives you an idea of how much work went into the early b-17s

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landing gear up/down solenoids ready for testing. Not sure if these work yet but if they do they're ready to go into the aircraft.

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O2 bottle holder bracket in the very nose of the aircraft. This area will be much more spartan than on other B-17's you might have toured or flown in. The E's still were more "airliner like"

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The right wing. It's finally been emptied of all equipment, wires, plumbing, etc. Just structhrure now. It was being powerwashed and cleaned to prep it for repair and restoration. This is actually a huge step for us since the wings have been fairly untouched in the project. (this is just the inboard wing panels. The wing tips have been restored and the outer panels will be next. Also the trailing edges have been removed and will need to be fixed up as well. Kind of gives you an idea of just how big the wing actually is.

Enjoy!
James


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:38 pm 
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Awesome!
Thanks for the update James.
I've always been aware that "The Rat" was a huge undertaking.
Seeing the work you folks have been doing is practically the definition of determination.

Give my best to the crew :drink3:

Andy


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:11 pm 
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The update is great! Really love seeing the progress.

Thanks,

Tom P


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:05 pm 
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I just read a short update in a recent issue of FlyPast magazine, so it's very cool (and timely) to see these photos! Thanks for sharing.

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Cheers, Zac in NZ

"It's his plane, he spent the money to restore it, he can do with it what he wants. I will never understand what's hard to comprehend about this." - kalamazookid


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:03 am 
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Thanks James! I've been looking forward to your updates.

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All right, Mister Dorfmann, start pullin'!
Pilot: "Flap switch works hard in down position."
Mechanic: "Flap switch checked OK. Pilot needs more P.T." - Flight report, B-17G 42-102875


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:31 pm 
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Any updates?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:30 pm
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It was announced that the project will be moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to join up with the Vintage Aviation Museum. There have been more updates lately on Desert Rats facebook page.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:16 pm 
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Ah, there it is! Not on Facebook, but, the page is open!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:26 pm 
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I was there a month or so ago and Mike had expressed interest in joining with an air museum to sort of fast track the aircraft and help defray costs. I had planned on mentioning it to a local museum but the night before I was going to go there, it was announced. I got to look around quite a bit while I was there, the fuselage is basically externally complete, there isn't much of an interior but structurally it looks nearly done. Both horizontal stabilizers were complete. They were building a camera pit which I thought would be areally neat touch. They had one wing in a jig and now it is being torn down. I had thought for a long time that work had stopped because there was virtually no mention of any work anywhere, luckily this is not the case.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:42 am 
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Good for the plane but sad to see it leave IL.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:53 pm 
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SWEET. This will be a cool project to finally be close enough to volunteer on! I will round up all the Wendover museum volunteers to go help out.

Tom P.


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