The National Warplane Museum in Geneseo, New York has achieved a major coups in gaining the lease of the late David Tallichet’s Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress serial 44-83546. Known universally now as “The Movie” Memphis Belle, due to her starring role in the 1989 film Memphis Belle, the aircraft was a frequent participant in the famed Geneseo air shows of the late 1980s and early 1990s when it was not uncommon to find six, seven or even eight WWII heavy bombers in formation over that hallowed grass field hewn from the corn fields of upstate New York. Geneseo hasn’t had a B-17 based on their field since B-17G Fuddy Duddy left following the lamented, mid-1990s schism of the original museum. Having Memphis Belle back in town is marvelous news for everyone who remembers those halcyon days.
“The Movie” Memphis Belle has spent the last four years under lease to the Liberty Foundation in Douglas, Georgia, under whose guardianship she toured North America, much like their B-17G Liberty Belle prior to that aircraft’s loss in a fire. Interestingly, at time of writing, the Liberty Foundation’s website is still advertising rides in “The Movie” Memphis Belle for 2016, so this change in operations really is hot off the press!
Following her arrival at the National Warplane Museum, engineers will go through the aircraft for winter maintenance in preparation for the 2016 air show season. The museum’s press release continues…
“During her long term residence at National Warplane Museum, The Movie Memphis Belle will be on display to the public, available for tours and eventually will provide (pending FAA approval) Living History Flight Experiences. “The Movie” Memphis Belle will continue her work here in Geneseo, NY, as well as touring the air show circuit and will be visiting additional aviation, museum and tourism venues throughout the east coast, ensuring that the historical legacies of the aircraft and the Veterans who flew with them, are kept alive and at the forefront of the minds of our nation’s youth and leaders of tomorrow.
“The return of The Movie Memphis Belle speaks well for the hard work that the museum staff and its members have done over the last several years. Having this “flagship of the warbird fleet” based in Geneseo is a huge step forward in our ability to fulfil our mission of making history and sacrifice come alive for future generations.” – Austin Wadsworth, President, National Warplane Museum
“The Movie Memphis Belle is one of only 10 or 11 B-17’s still flying. It is a national treasure and we are so lucky to have it back at the NWM in Geneseo. As one of the crew members, I can’t wait to get it back in service.” – Craig Johnson, B-17 Pilot, National Warplane Museum
“To have this airplane back at The National Warplane Museum is wonderful. When I started here 12 years ago, the B-17 was the first plane I worked on. I worked for Dave Tallichet for a time, taking care of the “17”. I consider it an honor to be able to take care of it for his son, John and the Tallichet family, to keep Dave’s dream alive.” – Michael Lindsay, National Warplane Museum
“The addition of “The Movie” Memphis Belle to the National Warplane Museum’s already impressive collection will only continue the momentum of drawing visitors to Livingston County and the Finger Lakes region who are interested in both history and aviation. We already anticipate an influx of visitors to come and view this aircraft in the upcoming months and are excited about the impact on tourism that this priceless artifact will have in drawing people to the area.” – Elissa Leuer, Director of Tourism & Marketing, Livingston County Chamber of Commerce
“News that the B17, The Movie Memphis Belle, is returning to the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo is a tremendous development,” said Congressman Collins. “The plane’s arrival will be a great addition to the museum’s world-class collection, and will provide yet another reason for tourists to visit the Finger Lakes and Western New York. I want to thank the men and women at the Warplane Museum for their hard work and constant advocacy in making this museum a true must-see destination.” – Congressman Chris Collins, 27th District, NY
For more information about The Movie Memphis Belle or National Warplane Museum please contact Dawn Schaible @ 585-243-2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WarbirdsNews looks forwards to this recent development with much anticipation, and we will be sure to bring you updates when they occur!