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ElAurens
04-29-2008, 07:29 PM
That just happened to be the first one to complete 25 missions in Europe, and it's sitting in pieces on the floor of the National Museum Of The United States Air Force's restoration facility.

And I'm going to go see it Friday.

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/5521/thebellege8.jpg

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

jarink
04-29-2008, 08:10 PM
Cool! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

How close will you be able to get to it? Needless to say, take lots of pics and post them!

skarden
04-29-2008, 08:47 PM
very very cool you lucky sod! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

as jarink said pls get heaps of pics for those of us who will never see her for ourself's http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Have fun! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

ElAurens
04-29-2008, 09:03 PM
We should be able to walk right up to her.

At least that is how it's been with every other aircraft I've seen at the restoration shop at the NMUSAF.

Hopefully pics by Saturday.

Zeus-cat
04-29-2008, 09:04 PM
Have fun. I hate to admit that I have not been down there to see the Memphis Belle even though I am less than 20 minutes away. Of course, I do see a B-17 almost every week. We aren't quite as far along as the Belle.

You can stop by the B-17 hangar at the Urbana, Ohio airport most days during business hours and most Thursday evening (that's when I am there). Urbana is about 45 minutes from the Museum of the US Air Force.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c252/Zeus-cat/IMG_7361.jpg

ElAurens
04-29-2008, 09:15 PM
Cool Zeus-Cat.

I live in Bowling Green, so I may pop in some day to say howdy.

M_Gunz
04-30-2008, 02:01 AM
Out by Dayton?

Capt.LoneRanger
04-30-2008, 02:33 AM
Yeah, when I was in the US, we also visited Memphis, but we found it had already been moved to the restoration-facility. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

GAU-8
04-30-2008, 03:27 AM
COPIOUS amount of fotos of ball turret please!

if the hatch is not allowed open, can you try your best to get images through the viewing ports at different angleshttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Adam906
04-30-2008, 04:24 AM
actually the Belle wasn't the first in Europe to 25 - that honour went to the B-17 "Hell's Angels". In fact, USAAF 8th logs show that Delta Rebel II flew its 25th mission on 17 May 1943 - two days before Belle flew her last sortie, thus making the Belle the third aircraft to achieve the milestone.

Memphis Belle was lauded in the press because it was more PC (sweetheart of the pilot and all that.) The Belle was the first to complete 25 missions and be sent home...

RAF_OldBuzzard
04-30-2008, 06:48 AM
Back in 2001, the wife and I took a cruise on the American Queen, that went from Memphis to St. Louis.

When we were bussed from the Memphis Airport to Mud Island where the Queen was docked, I was quite suprised when we went right past the Belle! That was an extra bonus, as there was plenty of time before the Queen left for me to walk back and take a good look at her.

In a way, it's a shame that the USAF Museum folks 'ripped her off' from the Memphis folks, as they had put a lot of time and money, almost all of it volunteered, in restoring and maintaining her.

I guess, that in one way it's good for her to be in Dayton, as more people will get to see here there, but you do have to feel for the good folks of Memphis that have maintained her for so many years.

There is one thing that I've always wondered about the Belle, and that's why the girl's bathing suit is red on one side of the nose, and blue on the other. Has anyone ever heard an explaination of how/why that happened?

ROLAND-BEAMONT
04-30-2008, 09:07 AM
Is that a beaufighter in the background?

Klemm.co
04-30-2008, 09:45 AM
Yes that is a Beaufighter.
I wonered why no one asked that question earlier. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

ElAurens
04-30-2008, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by RAF_OldBuzzard:
the good folks of Memphis that have maintained her for so many years.



The "good folks of Memphis" allowed the Belle to fall into a state of total disrepair. She was repeatedly vandalized, and is suffering from extensive corrosion damage due entirely to the lack of care given her. She deserves better, and now will get it. the original estimates were that the restoration would take 3 to 4 years, these have since been pushed back to 7 to 10 years because of her sorry condition.

As to the Beaufighter, it is now on display in the Museum, painted as a USAAF nightfighter that was used in the Med.

Aaron_GT
04-30-2008, 11:52 AM
Memphis Belle was lauded in the press because it was more PC (sweetheart of the pilot and all that.) The Belle was the first to complete 25 missions and be sent home...

Wasn't its 25th mission also filmed at the time? I remember watching the film that I remember as being of the Belle 20 years ago. I am sure that has something to do with the Belle being remembered too.

Schwarz.13
04-30-2008, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
Wasn't its 25th mission also filmed at the time? I remember watching the film that I remember as being of the Belle 20 years ago.

Yes (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2683413579748075712&q=memphis%20belle&hl=en) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

<span class="ev_code_red">EDIT:wrong link - oops hehe</span>

M_Gunz
04-30-2008, 02:34 PM
When the press decides to "create a moment" it becomes money over truth every time.
The flag raising over Iwo picture is another of those "we'll do it our way" "moments".
It's not just Hollyweird.

Choctaw111
04-30-2008, 09:45 PM
I have a beautiful 4 page foldout Memphis Belle print in the "Great Book of WW2 Airplanes" that Robert Morgan signed for me many years ago. I will have to photograph that and post it here.

Adam906
04-30-2008, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by Schwarz.13:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
Wasn't its 25th mission also filmed at the time? I remember watching the film that I remember as being of the Belle 20 years ago.

Yes (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2683413579748075712&q=memphis%20belle&hl=en) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

<span class="ev_code_red">EDIT:wrong link - oops hehe</span> </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Most of that footage is a hodgepodge of collected material. In fact, the Belle and a few other aircraft were used on a 3-hour sortie over England and the North Sea to help pad out the show..

Schwarz.13
05-01-2008, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by Adam906:
Most of that footage is a hodgepodge of collected material. In fact, the Belle and a few other aircraft were used on a 3-hour sortie over England and the North Sea to help pad out the show..

Why am i not surprised? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Anyway it is still well worth watching...

Patriot_Act
05-01-2008, 01:56 AM
Memphis Belle is to be restored to airworthy condition
but it is unlikely it will be flown.
4 "zero time" Wright R-1820-97s are ready to be
installed when the time comes.

My guess is the engines will be run and the bird taxied as a grand entry to the museum.
The risk is there for fire though.

The Memphis Belle is in a whole lot better shape
than it would be if not for the massive effort by
the Memphis Belle preservation society.

Good to see it being re-built.

P.A.

WOLFMondo
05-01-2008, 03:41 AM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
That just happened to be the first one to complete 25 missions in Europe, and it's sitting in pieces on the floor of the National Museum Of The United States Air Force's restoration facility.

And I'm going to go see it Friday.

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/5521/thebellege8.jpg

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Hang on a sec!

Can you possibly get some pics and info on that Beaufighter? I wonder if it will be brought to air worthy status?

Aaron_GT
05-01-2008, 05:34 AM
Most of that footage is a hodgepodge of collected material. In fact, the Belle and a few other aircraft were used on a 3-hour sortie over England and the North Sea to help pad out the show..

This is why I was concerned that it wasn't the Belle per se, as there seemed to be inconsistencies at the time, but it would make sense if a series of scenes were used from different aircraft to form a 'representative' mission. After all if you missed the 109 pass in one plane you don't get to ask everyone to go back to starting points to try it again, so it makes sense to have several cameramen on several planes and splice something together than gives a suitable impression.

ElAurens
05-01-2008, 05:44 AM
As a matter of policy the NMUSAF does not fly it's aircraft. There are no exceptions to this rule.

The Beaufighter is already on display, check the NMUSAF website.

woofiedog
05-01-2008, 05:54 AM
Enjoy the visit... will be waiting to see the photos!

RAF_OldBuzzard
05-01-2008, 08:11 AM
Originally posted by ElAurens: ... The "good folks of Memphis" allowed the Belle to fall into a state of total disrepair. She was repeatedly vandalized, and is suffering from extensive corrosion damage due entirely to the lack of care given her...

I'd like to see some documentation on that, as she was in fine shape when I visited in 2001.

Here's a gallery of pics as she looked in 2002, before her move. Disrepair? Sad shape?
http://www.memphisbelle.com/index.php?option=com_galler...mid=13&g2_itemId=130 (http://www.memphisbelle.com/index.php?option=com_gallery2&Itemid=13&g2_itemId=130)



I guess that it's possible that circumstances changed sometime after that, but when I saw her, she was undercover, in a facility that was built for just that purpose.

I'm not saying that you are lieing, but what I saw with my own eyes, make that a bit hard to believe. I know that there was a big fight involved over the USAF Museams aquisition of her. Could it be that what you saw/read was a bit of Government 'propaganda'?

berg417448
05-01-2008, 09:11 AM
The story that I've aways read is that the Memphis Belle actually belonged to the Air Force, not to Memphis. It was turned back over to the USAF by Memphis city officials in the 1970's. The USAF allowed the plane to stay in the city of Memphis as long as it was kept up.

It was originally place in an outdoor site and suffered from the elements and deteriorated. A new covered site was built in the late 1980's but there was still some dissatisfaction with the new site in which the aircraft was displayed. Even though there was a cover overhead the plane still suffered from weathering. Through the years it suffered from some vandalism and some theft of parts.

In 2003 it was decided to restore the plane again and it was taken apart and moved to a facility in nearby Millington, Tn. In typical Memphis government fashion they screwed around with the restoration. The volunteer group which had been trying to keep the plane in good shape announced that they could not raise enough money to continue their efforts. USAF basically said we are taking the plane back and we will restore it and display it in Dayton.

Zeus-cat
05-01-2008, 08:48 PM
Living near Dayton my view may be biased by the media, but the story told by berg417488 is consistant with what I remember.

The Air Force had displayed displeasure wih the efforts being put forth by the various groups in Memphis trying to restore the aircraft. They didn't just walk in one day and say 'Hand it over, we are taking it to Dayton'. The Air Force made it clear that they wanted the plane preserved and that the plane could stay in Memphis if that happened. After a number of warnings that the aircraft wasn't being handled properly the Museum decided it had to be brought to Dayton.

This topic was discussed on these forums at the time the plane was moved and the people from the Memphis area who visit these forums disputed this.

Given the depth of expertise in restoring warbirds, it would be tough for anyone to compete with the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Enforcer572005
05-01-2008, 09:59 PM
I saw her back in 87 under taht open air enclosure, and though she looked good then, I was a bit bothered by the fact that birds were in there pooping all over her.

They did do the original restoration though, as she had fallen to horrible shape in outside display, gaffiti etc all over her before they did the restoration that lasted till they moved it.

If security there was lousy enough for morons to vandalize her there , she needed to be moved.
It was on a small island in the middle of the river with very limited access......how touch is that to secure?

I guess they will put her beside Shoo Shoo baby, a G model that also saw combat.

BOA_Allmenroder
05-02-2008, 07:08 AM
Originally posted by Adam906:


Memphis Belle was lauded in the press because it was more PC (sweetheart of the pilot and all that.) The Belle was the first to complete 25 missions and be sent home...

Actually no. What made the Belle famous was its crew was the first to finish their 25 mission tour. They did so in the aircraft they deployed with.

When you consider that the 8th started flying missions in August of 1942 and that it took almost a year for any crew to complete 25 missions intact (the Belle crew actually completed their 25 in about 6 months), well it speaks volumes to the intensity/danger that went with flying for the 8th AF.

jarink
05-02-2008, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by BOA_Allmenroder:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Adam906:


Memphis Belle was lauded in the press because it was more PC (sweetheart of the pilot and all that.) The Belle was the first to complete 25 missions and be sent home...

Actually no. What made the Belle famous was its crew was the first to finish their 25 mission tour. They did so in the aircraft they deployed with.

When you consider that the 8th started flying missions in August of 1942 and that it took almost a year for any crew to complete 25 missions intact (the Belle crew actually completed their 25 in about 6 months), well it speaks volumes to the intensity/danger that went with flying for the 8th AF. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah, you beat me to the punch! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

If I remember correctly, the Belle's copilot flew his last mission with a different crew on a mission a couple of days before the rest of the crew and the plane finished their tours.

By the by, the famous nose art was painted by a 91st BG mechanic, Tony Starcer (http://www.91stbombgroup.com/starcer.html) . He also did the art on a lot of other 91st BG planes. (only about 122 of them...) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

-HH-Quazi
05-02-2008, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
Cool Zeus-Cat.

I live in Bowling Green, so I may pop in some day to say howdy. That wouldn't be Bowling Green, KY. would it?

Anyway the Memphis Belle has come a long way since the last time I was in the area and visited it. Back then, which will be two years in June, two of my squad m8s came down from the Pacific Northwest to visit me in Nashville, TN. We then proceeded to travel up to visit our other squadm8, Zues-Cat, for a few days. And within those few days Zues & his lovely wife took us on a tour of the museum on a Saturday. Then the next day we were able to visit the restoration hangar where the Memphis Belle was really strown around everywhere. So to see this pic of her coming together is a real deal for me as I see allot of progress.

ElAurens
05-02-2008, 05:24 PM
Quazi, that pic I first posted was from when the Museum first got her, she is far from finished. And I'm from Bowling Green, Ohio.

Here are my pics shot today.

Only a few however, as I had an equipment malfunction.

My brand farging new lithium batteries gave up the ghost after 8 shots.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif

Anyway....

The Memphis Belle...

http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/3007/belle1wr2.jpg

http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/8452/belle2jd6.jpg

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/2456/belle3pb9.jpg

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/4483/belle4kk5.jpg

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/24/belle5mp0.jpg

http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/2091/belle6ir6.jpg

She is pretty much totally taken apart. They are figuring eight more years to finish her. Lots of work repairing corrosion, vandalism, theft, and prior attempts at "fixing" her.

For instance, at sometime in the past the entire interior of the aircraft was painted in zinc chromate primer. This is incorrect for B-17s of early models. They were shipped with bare aluminum iinterior surfaces. So it all has to be bead blasted off. Unfortunately when they did paint her interior, they sprayed every wire loom, hydraulic line, light fixture, oxygen system, etc... so it all has to come out and be cleaned off and returned to it's original state. fortunately they have found a company that can still make WW2 spec wiring harnesses if the orignal stuff cannot be saved.

They also had in storage 4 Wright R 1830 engines with under 5 hours on them. These will be installed, saving the time of total restoration of the engines that were on the Belle when they got her back.

When repainted she will be in the configuration of her 23rd. mission, as that is what they have the best photo documentation of.

Also of interest was one of my pet projects at the Museum.

http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/2613/n1k2jxs6.jpg

http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/5137/n1k2jeningefw9.jpg

The Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai "George" is very near completion.

Very cool aircraft.

fabianfred
05-02-2008, 08:36 PM
looking at that beautiful engine of the 'George" makes me sad to think of all the time and effort and materials which went to make it....and how many thousands like it and the B-17 too just ended up as scrap!

http://www.publicdomaintorrents.com/nshowcat.html?category=ALL

the memphis belle movie can be downloaded from the above link

ElAurens
05-02-2008, 08:43 PM
it was pretty funny, on the tour someone asked the guide about how accurate the movie (Hollywood one) was.

The guide said: "None of it".

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Schwarz.13
05-02-2008, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by jarink:
By the by, the famous nose art was painted by a 91st BG mechanic, Tony Starcer (http://www.91stbombgroup.com/starcer.html) . He also did the art on a lot of other 91st BG planes. (only about 122 of them...)

That i didn't know - what a brilliantly talented young artist and 'unsung hero'!

BTW - is Bowling Green the name of a town in the US? To us 'Brits' that is such a funny name for a town because a bowling green is usually just a patch of lawn, outside a little clubhouse or 'shack', where the local pensioners play bowls...

Zeus-cat
05-02-2008, 10:37 PM
Putting engines with 5 hours on an aircraft that will never fly again seems almost criminal. I have no idea what the 'Champaign Lady'(the Urbana B-17) will do for engines. We have one on display, but that leaves us three short if I did my math correctly.

ElAurens
05-03-2008, 07:43 AM
Zeus-cat, it's not criminal if you already have the engines in stock. They are yours to do with as you please.

The NMUSAF has in the past helped those who were restoring aircraft for flying. The Beaufighter is a good example of this. the first Beau owned by the NMUSAF was a very low hours airframe originally from Australia that had no combat history. The NMUSAF prefers to display aircraft with actual combat useage, so they traded their very good airframe to another group who was restoring a Beau to fly (Duxford?) for an airframe that had a combat history. A "win-win" for both.

Yes Schwarz.13, Bowling Green is a city. there are two in the US that I know of. My little town in Ohio, and one in Kentucky, where General Motors builds the Corvette automobile.

Oh, and we do have a bowling green in one of our city parks.

Zeus-cat
05-03-2008, 08:43 AM
Zeus-cat, it's not criminal if you already have the engines in stock. They are yours to do with as you please.

You are correct that the NMUSAF can do as it please with its engines. I used the term "criminal" as a way to say it is a huge waste of an airworthy engine to put it on a static aircraft.

The 'Champaign Lady' is supposed to fly again and we will need 4 good engines. It would be a shame if our plane never made it into the air for lack of engines.

jarink
05-03-2008, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
Only a few however, as I had an equipment malfunction.

My brand farging new lithium batteries gave up the ghost after 8 shots.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif

If I leaned nothing else during my time in the Army, I learned to always, always take spare batteries! Still, thanks for the shots you were able to take!


They also had in storage 4 Wright R 1830 engines with under 5 hours on them. These will be installed, saving the time of total restoration of the engines that were on the Belle when they got her back.

In how poor of condition are the previous engines? I hear there's another B-17 being worked on that may need some engines or parts...


When repainted she will be in the configuration of her 23rd. mission, as that is what they have the best photo documentation of.

That seems really weird. I would have thought there'd be a lot of pictures taken of her in the days right after the historic 25th mission.

ElAurens
05-03-2008, 02:20 PM
I found the paint photo story odd as well. But apparently this is the reasoning.

Aaron_GT
05-03-2008, 03:48 PM
The Beaufighter is a good example of this. the first Beau owned by the NMUSAF was a very low hours airframe originally from Australia that had no combat history.

Is it just me or do they habit of finding old unused WW2 hardware in Australia? Back in the 1980s I heard they found a warehouse with a loadof Harleys in, still in their shipping crates.

woofiedog
05-09-2008, 01:21 AM
Extremely Mint photos you were able to take of the work they are doing with the Memphis Belle and of the George which will be a real beauty once they are done.

Thank's