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Collings Bombers at Santa Maria Airport, May 10, 2005

The Collings Foundation Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, N93012 Nine-O-Nine and Consolidated B-24J Liberator, N224J, which was recently repainted and renamed Witchcraft, are visiting southern California.

The bombers flew from Hawthorne to Santa Maria on May 9. They flew on to Paso Robles on May 11. They were on static display at the Minter Field Airshow on May 14 and the Airfest at Van Nuys on May 15. They headed to Burbank on May 16. It is reported that they will also visit the Santa Barbara Airport.

Slideshow of Boeing B-17G N93012 Nine-O-Nine, North American B-25J Mitchell, NL3746G Tondelayo, and Consolidated B-24J Liberator Witchcraft.

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, N93012 Nine-O-Nine

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, N93012 Nine-O-Nine.

This Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress was built under license by Douglas. Its Douglas construction number is 32216. Its original Army Air Force serial number was 44-83575. It was used by the Air Force for atomic weapons testing support 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 1979. 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. 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.

Bombardier station and chin turret

Dorsal turret

Ball turret

Tail turret

Bombardier station

Navigator station

Right cheek gun

Instrument panel

Instrument panel

Overhead instrument panel

Pilot station

Co-pilot station

Dorsal turret

Bomb bay looking forward

Radio operator compartment looking forward

View from radio operator compartment dorsal hatch

Looking forward at dorsal turret

Ball turret and gunners' compartment looking aft

Ball turret looking forward

Ball turret

Gunners' compartment looking aft. Note that the gunners' stations are offset for clearance.

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, Yucca Lady at Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona on May 7, 1971 Thirty-four 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.

Consolidated B-24J Liberator, N224J Witchcraft

Nose art of Consolidated B-24J Liberator, N224J Witchcraft

The Consolidated construction number of Witchcraft 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 it 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.

Nose turret

Witchcraft's crew performs engine maintenance.

Dorsal turret

Vertical stabilizer

Tail turret


Navigator and radio operator stations

Bomb bay looking aft

Bomb bay looking forward

Ball turret looking forward

Entry hatch and rear fuselage looking aft


Tail turret

More B-17 Flying Fortress and Collings Foundation Bomber Photos

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortresses 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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