Thursday, September 25, 2008


I recently visited my Brother in Ohio and he took me to the airport at Urbana where they are rebuilding a B17. This plane had been restored once and crashed and is being rebuilt again by a very dedicated crew of men spending a huge amount of their own time trying to save an important part of American history.
Here is the cockpit section of the fuselage.
The rear gunners section. Some new parts some old parts.

The rudder is ready for paint.

Rear fuselage section with gunners windows.

Part of an engine.
Inside rear fuselage section.

Wing spar. I was blown away by how the wing was constructed. There is a tubing skeleton inside with spars and then a very heavy corrugated aluminum under skin. A thin smooth aluminum skin then covers all of this.
Parts, parts and more parts. Engine cowling, machine guns and fake bombs.

Good engine in a display case.

The skin that was removed from the wing. Blow up the picture and you will see the names of three of the men that originally built the plane in the 40's. They signed their work. I took the picture upside down so the names would be right side up.


Sandy said...

cools pic The one of inside the fuselage...reminds me of CERN.

My husband tried commenting with no luck. ...i'm sure he will try again.

Mike said...

Thanks Sandy. I had to explain to Mary what and where CERN is. I tend to get too technical at times and will have to learn how to tone that down in my blog.

Becky and Gary said...

Wow, looks like a giant puzzle. It's just wonderful that there are still folks around that know how to restore these old planes.
There is a Pennsylvania K-4 steam locomotive that used to sit for many years on display at the Horseshoe Curve near Altoona, Pa . Built in 1920, it ran till 1957, and now sits in a museum , totally dismantled with serious boiler problems, and apparently nobody around ( that used to work on these old locomotives ), that can repair it. Of course there is always a money factor too.

Mike said...

B&G, the ones working on the plane were able to get a full set of plans for the plane. If you notice in the pictures the file box's everywhere, thats were the plans are.The file boxes are old pattern box's from a fabric store.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Wow. I still can't believe all of this metal gets off the ground at all. Love the last shot of the names etched in. It makes it a little more personal.

Denise said...

I greatly admire the people who have given their heart and soul into putting this beautiful flying machine back together. Great photographs.