The Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia is set to receive the fuselage of their latest acquisition by the end of this week… perhaps as soon as tomorrow. As many of our readers will know, the National Museum of the US Air Force transferred B-17G 44-83690 to the Museum of Aviation some months ago. The aircraft had been on outdoor display at the Grissom Air Museum in Peru, Indiana for more than half a century, and had no prospect of finding a home inside at that museum any time soon, so in the interests of the B-17’s future, a decision had to be made to bring her indoors somewhere else. The Museum of Aviation had set aside room in one of their main hangars for just such a prize after they disposed of a number of exhibits which they no longer needed last year, so it made a lot of sense to to relocate the Fortress there, especially as it is one of the premier facilities in the USAF Museum System. The first substantial components from the B-17 started arriving in July, with the tail gunners cupola pictured above having rolled up on July 8th.
Just a few dozen B-17s still survive intact across the world today, so it is vital that this aircraft receive the attention it needs to ensure its long term preservation. The Museum of Aviation intends to embark upon a thorough restoration of the aircraft to bring her back up to full combat configuration. This should be substantially less difficult now that the aircraft is in manageable pieces with proper access to most of its more restrictive areas, but it will take time, and a good deal of money to effect. The restoration will mostly occur within the walls of the Scott Hangar (named after legendary CBI fighter pilot, Robert L. Scott), and should be on public display during most of that process. WarbirdsNews hopes to bring our readers regular updates of progress on the aircraft; the first of which should occur any day now!
Incidentally, WarbirdsNews received the following e-mail from the Museum of Aviation…
“The B-17 will travel through the Atlanta area on its way to the museum and it could be a lot of fun to have people share photos. You’re in Atlanta right? For that matter, there are probably people who follow your website, FB page, and Twitter feed who would enjoy helping to “spot” along the route from Grissom Air Museum to the Museum of Aviation.”
So if you do happen to spot the magnificent Fortress on her journey… please do post a photo on our Facebook page HERE. Post it under the thread which refers to this article, and let’s just see how many of you see her on the trip!
For those wishing to contribute to the B-17’s restoration, please do click on the Museum’s donation page HERE.