The Memphis Belle – Nearly There Now!

Restoration work on the Memphis Belle is nearly complete at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. (USAF photo)

The National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio has just released a short video detailing the final stages in the restoration of their iconic Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, Memphis Belle. They recently reinstalled the control surfaces, the last major components to go back on the aircraft.

Installing the left aileron. The restoration team has now fitted all of the control surfaces to the aircraft, the last major components to go back on the bomber. (USAF photo)

The Belle now sits resplendent in her new paint as well, with most of her markings, save the famous nose art, properly recreated. Restoration staff know how minutely their work will be inspected by the public, and have gone to great lengths to ensure that the B-17 is as close as possible to the way she looked in mid-May, 1943, just after the completion of her final mission against the Axis.

The Memphis Belle’s crew smiling upon the completion of their final mission in the aircraft on May 17th, 1943. (USAF photo)

It is clear that they have put a lot of thought into the project, and it will doubtless be the crown jewel of their collection at Dayton once she goes on display. As we noted HERE, the museum will be holding a major three day event to unveil the Memphis Belle between May 17th and 19th, coinciding exactly with the 75th anniversaries of the 25th combat missions for her crew and the bomber herself.

Painting the national insignia on the Memphis Belle’s fuselage recently. (USAF photo)

Here is a video released by National Museum of the United States Air Force

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