Photography Magazine

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress

By Htam

DSC_0782.jpg@Nellis AFB, NV

November 2007

Attending my first Aviation Nation airshow would afford me my only chance to see Liberty Belle, a composite of two B-17 airframes reconstructed by Tom Reilly of Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum (aka “Bombertown USA”).  She returned to the air in December 2004, and began touring the air show circuit.  On the morning of 13 June 2011, Liberty Belle made a forced landing in Oswego, Illinois, after taking off from Aurora Municipal Airport in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot of a T-6 Texan chase plane informed Liberty Belle’s pilot that the B-17 inboard left wing was on fire and advised an immediate landing. The bomber landed successfully in a nearby field and the seven people aboard were able to evacuate without injury, but due to the muddy ground the fire engines could not reach it, allowing the fire to spread and destroy the plane.  It is currently under rebuild, possibly to airworthy status, using the forward fuselage of another B-17.  Liberty Belle was a popular name with over two dozen wartime Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and Consolidated B-24 Liberators carrying the name into combat. Nikon D70 w/70-300mm.

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