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The Collings Foundation Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, Nine-O-Nine and Consolidated B-24J Liberator, The Dragon and His Tail visited the Santa Barbara Airport on May 16 and 17, 2002.
Slideshow of Boeing B-17G N93012 Nine-O-Nine, North American B-25J Mitchell, NL3746G Tondelayo, and Consolidated B-24J Liberator Witchcraft.
The Consolidated construction number of The Dragon and His Tail is 1347. Its original Army Air Force serial number was 44-44052. It was delivered to the Royal Air Force as a Liberator B. VII. After its tour of duty in the RAF it was transferred to the Indian Air Force. In the 1970s, it was used as a training aid by the IAF technical college at Jalahalli, India. Warbirds of Great Britain Limited, Blackbushe transported to England aboard a Heavylift Belfast in May 1982. The Collings Foundation bought it in 1986 and returned it to flightworthy status in August 1989. Its civil registration is N224J. For a number of years it flew in the guise of the "All American".
The nose art of Consolidated B-24J Liberator, The Dragon and His Tail is based on the artwork of an actual WWII Liberator.
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, Nine-O-Nine was built under license by Douglas. Its Douglas construction number is 32216. Its original Army Air Force serial number was 44-83575. Now it carries the serial number 42-31909. The white triangle on the tail indicates assignment to the 1st Air Division of the Eighth Air Force. The letter A in the triangle and the code OR on the fuselage denote the 91st Bomb Group.
Nine-O-Nine was used by the Air Force for atomic weapons testing at Yucca Flats, Nevada. Valley Scrap Metal of Phoenix, Arizona bought it in 1965. It was stripped for spare parts at Falcon Field near Mesa, Arizona. While sitting derelict it wore the name Yucca Lady. Aircraft Specialties Inc. converted it to a fire fighting tanker in 1989. From 1981 to 1985 it fought fires as tanker #99. The Collings Foundation acquired it in 1985 and restored it to its original military configuration in 1987. Its civil registration is N93012.
Thirty-one years earlier: Nine-O-Nine as it appeared when it was known as Yucca Lady and cannibalized for parts at Falcon Field near Mesa, Arizona on May 7, 1971.
After spending a while on static display, the bombers went up for a few revenue flights in the late afternoon.
Nine-O-Nine taxis into position for take-off.
Winding up the engines.
Nine-O-Nine on aproach to Runway 25.
Head on view of The Dragon and His Tail.
The Dragon and His Tail on aproach to Runway 25.
Nine-O-Nine made its last flight of the day just before sunset.
The bombers were on static display until mid-afternoon on May 17.
Nine-O-Nine made one revenue flight before departing for San Luis Obispo.
Nine-O-Nine flares out over the numbers.
Nine-O-Nine appeared at the Nellis Air Force Base Golden Air Tattoo in April 1997.
The Dragon and His Tail was named the All American when it appeared at the Nellis Air Force Base Golden Air Tattoo in April 1997.
The Collings Foundation Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, Nine-O-Nine and Consolidated B-24J Liberator, The Dragon and His Tail visited the Santa Barbara Airport from April 30 to May 2, 2003.
Link to the Collings Foundation web site for more information about their historic aircraft and their tour schedules.
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortresses were used to fight fires unitl the 1980s. Subsequently, the tankers were restored to stock configuration. The restored Flying Fortresses tour the country, taking aviation enthusiasts aloft on nostalgia flights.
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