Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Tankers


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Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses were once widely used to fight forest fires. In recent years all the surviving B-17 tankers have been restored to stock military configuration. Many of them remain airworthy.

B-17G-105-VE, N621L tanker c64 B-17G-105-VE, N621L tanker c64 at Falcon Field, Arizona in April 1971. It was delivered to the U. S. Army Air Corps as 44-85774. It was converted to a VB-17G VIP transport. After spending some time in storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, it was transferred to the Bolivian Air Force on June 22, 1956. It was converted for civilian use by Hamilton Aircraft of Tucson, Arizona. Lloyd Aero Boliviano of La Paz registered it as CP-621 in December 1956. Aircraft Apecialties of Mesa, Arizona bought it and registered it as N621L in December 1968. It appeared in the movie Tora Tora Tora and was destroyed in a crash in July 1975.

B-17G-85-DL, N93012 Yucca Lady B-17G-85-DL, N93012 Yucca Lady was being cannibalized for parts at Falcon Field on May 7, 1971. It was delivered to the U. S. Army Air Corps as 44-83575. It was converted to a TB-17H trainer and then to an SB-17G Search and Rescue plane, acquiring yellow, high visibility stripes in the process. It was used as a static test target for atomic bomb tests in Nevada in 1952. It was rebuilt at the Nevada test site, registered as N93012, and ferried to Falcon Field on May 14, 1965. It was stripped for spares until being converted to a tanker by Aircraft Specialties Incorporated of Mesa, Arizona in 1977. It flew as Lady Yukka, tanker #99 until it was purchased by the Collings Foundation in 1985. It was restored to stock configuration by Tom Reilly Vintage Aircraft and is now painted as B-17G-30-BO, 42-31909 Nine-O-Nine. Photo by Richard Lockett.

B-17G-95-DL, N809Z tanker c71 B-17G-95-DL, N809Z tanker c71 at Marana Airpark, Arizona on February 11, 1972. It was delivered to the U. S. Army Air Corps as 44-83785. It was converted to a TB-17H trainer, then to an SB-17G Search and Rescue plane, and then back to a TB-17H. Atlantic General Enterprises of Washington, D. C. acquired it on September 1, 1960. It was operated by Intermountain Aviation (a front for the CIA) from October 4, 1962. It had a chute for agents to slide out the tail and a scissors mechanism installed on the nose to pick up infiltrated agents. It reportedly dropped a pair of agents onto an abandoned Soviet ice station drifting in the Arctic Ocean. It appeared in the movie Thunderball. It was converted to a tanker in July 1969. It was purchased by Evergreen Helicopters on March 1, 1975, which changed its registration to N207EV on March 6, 1979 and operated it as a tanker until 1989. Then it was restored to stock configuration and named Shady Lady. It is currently based at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon

B-17G-95-DL, N809Z tanker c71 B-17G-95-DL, N809Z tanker c71 at Marana Airpark, Arizona on February 11, 1972. The chute in the tail has been crudely plugged.

B-17G-85-DL, N9563Z tanker c24 B-17G-85-DL, N9563Z tanker c24 at Falcon Field, Arizona on May 4, 1974. It was delivered to the U. S. Army Air Corps as 44-83563. It was modified to a CB-17G cargo transport and then to a VB-17G VIP transport. It was acquired by American Compressed Steel of Cincinnati, Ohio on August 18, 1959. Aero American Corporation of Tucson, Arizona acquired it on May 9, 1960 and gave it its current registration. Columbia Pictures Incorporated of New York leased it on October 11, 1961 to use it in the movie The War Lover. In the movie it portrayed B-17F, 41-27742. It departed the United Kingdom on May 16, 1962. It spent some time in storage at Ryan Field, Arizona. Aviation Specialties Incorporated of Mesa, Arizona bought it on February 2, 1963 and operated it as tanker e24, c24, #24, and #89. It was flown to Hawaii in January 1969 to appear in the movie Tora Tora Tora. Globe Air Incorporated of Mesa, Arizona acquired it on February 18, 1981. The National Warplane Museum at Horseheads, New York bought it in October 1985. It is now named Fuddy Duddy and carries serial number 42-97400.

B-17G-105VE, N621L tanker c64 B-17G-105-VE, N621L tanker c64 at Falcon Field, Arizona on May 4, 1974.

B-17G-110-VE, N3193G tanker 34 B-17G-110-VE, N3193G tanker 34 at Falcon Field, Arizona on May 4, 1974. It was delivered to the U. S. Army Air Corps as 44-85829, then transferred to the U. S. Coast Guard as PB-1G, BuNo 77255 in September 1946. It served at NAS Elizabeth City, North Carolina until May 1959. Ace Smelting Incorporated of Phoenix, Arizona bought it on May 11, 1959, gave it its current registration, then sold it to Fairchild Aerial Surveys of Los Angeles, California the same month. Aero Services Corporation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania acquired it on August 2, 1965 and sold it to Beigert Brothers of Shickley, Nebraska on October 1, 1965. Aircraft Specialties Incorporated of Mesa, Arizona bought it on March 19, 1966 and flew it as tanker c34 and later tanker #34. It was flown to Hawaii in January 1969 to appear in the movie Tora Tora Tora. Globe Air Incorporated of Mesa, Arizona acquired it along with B-17G-85-DL, N9563Z on February 18, 1981. It is now named Yankee Lady and flies for the Yankee Air Force at Yspilanti, Michigan.

B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 takes off from Runway 25 at the Santa Barbara Airport, California on September 12, 1979. It was delivered to the U. S. Army Air Corps as 42-29782. It remained in the United States and served in training units until November 1945. It was placed on display in Stuttgart, Arkansas in 1946. It was acquired in non-flying condition by Gerald Francis of Stuttgart in 1953. He sold it to Max & John Beigert of Lincoln, Nebraska, who registered it as N6015V in April 1953. It was converted to a sprayer and given its current registration in March 1954. Central Aircraft Corporation of Yakima, Washington leased it in 1954 and 1955. Abe Sellard of Stafford, Arizona leased it in 1960 and 1961. It was converted to a tanker in May 1960. Abe's Aerial Service of Stafford, Arizona bought it in October 1961 and flew it as tanker e84. Aircraft Specialties Incorporated of Mesa, Arizona acquired it on April 17, 1963 and flew it as tanker c84, c44, #44, and #04. Globe Air Incorporated of Mesa, Arizona acquired it along with B-17G-85-DL, N9563Z and B-17G-110-VE, N3193G on February 18, 1981. Portage Bay Incorporated of Seattle, Washington bought it on June 11, 1985 and sold it to the Museum of Flight in Seattle in September 1990. It appeared in the movies Thousand Plane Raid, Tora Tora Tora, and Memphis Belle. It is hangared at the Renton Municipal Airport. It is the only airworthy F-model B-17.

B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 over Winchester Canyon, California on September 12, 1979.

B-17G-110-VE, N3193G tanker 34 Robert L. Simmons photographed B-17F N17W at Peachtree DeKalb airport in Georgia in 1962. It was spraying Myrex as part of the fire ant eradication program. This photo was provided by his son, Robert Simmons.

B-17G-110-VE, N3193G tanker 34 B-17F N17W at Peachtree DeKalb airport in Georgia in 1962. This photo was provided by his son, Robert Simmons.

B-17G-85-DL, N9563Z tanker 89 B-17G, N9563Z tanker 89 fires up its number 4 engine at the Goleta tanker station at the Santa Barbara Airport, California on July 30, 1980. It was formerly tanker c24.

B-17G-85-DL, N9563Z tanker 89 B-17G-85-DL, N9563Z tanker 89 taxies out of the Goleta tanker station on July 30, 1980.

B-17G-85-DL, N9563Z tanker 89 B-17G-85-DL, N9563Z tanker 89 taxies out of the Goleta tanker station on July 30, 1980.

B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 at the Goleta tanker station on November 28, 1980. It was delivered to the U. S. Army Air Corps as 44-83868. It was transferred to the U. S. Navy as PB-1W, BuNo 77233. American Compressed Steel Corporation of Dallas, Texas acquired it in December 1957 and gave it its curent registration. It sat unconverted at the Dallas-Love Airport for two years. Carstedt Air of Long Beach, California made an unsuccessful bid to purchase it, reserving the registration N6466D for it, but never taking it up. Aero Union Corporation of Chico, California bought it in 1960. Butler Farm Air (later Butler Aircraft Company) of Redmond, Oregon acquired it in 1963 and flew it as tanker e15, f15, and #65. TBM Incorporated of Sequoia, California bought it in 1979. It was restored to stock configuration at Sequoia and flown to Royal Air Force Bize Norton England in 1983. It arrived at the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon, England on December 9, 1983. It is now named Mary Alice carries serial 44-83868. It is on static display at the American Air Museum in England at Duxford.

B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 at the Goleta tanker station on November 28, 1980.

B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 at the Goleta tanker station on November 28, 1980.

B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 at the Goleta tanker station on November 28, 1980.

B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 B-17G-95-DL, N5237V tanker 65 at the Goleta tanker station on November 28, 1980.

B-17G-95-DL, N207EV B-17G-95-DL, N207EV and a Lockheed P-2 Neptune at Marana Airpark on December 30, 1981. N207EV was formerly registered N809Z and carried tanker #71.

B-17G-105-VE, N3509G tanker 102 B-17G-105-VE, N3509G tanker 102 at the Mojave Airport, California on July 3, 1982. It was delivered to the U. S. Army Air Corps as 44-85778. It was converted to a TB-17H trainer and then to a VB-17G VIP transport. Ace Smelting, Incorporated of Phoenix, Arizona bought it on August 14, 1959 and gave it its current registration. Sonora Flying Service of Columbia, California acquired it on September 20, 1960. Leo Demers of Madras, Oregon bought it on May 25, 1961 and flew it as tanker #97. Aero Union Corporation of Chico, California bought it on April 29, 1966 and flew it as tanker e16. Central Air Service of Rantoul, Kansas acquired it on June 2, 1972 and flew it as tanker f42, #42, and #102. Western Air Contractors of American Fork, Utah bought it on July 6, 1978 and sold it to Westernair of Albequerque, New Mexico on June 15, 1981. Aircraft Component Equipment Supplies of Klamath Falls, Oregon acquired it on March 28, 1982 and placed it in storage at Stockton, California in 1984. Arthur McDonnell of Mojave, California bought it in July 1990 and sold it to Florida Aircraft Leasing Corporation of Miami, Florida in February 1991. The Lone Star Flight Museum of Galveston, Texas and World Jet International of Fort Lauderdale, Florida acquired it in April 1991 and named it Miss Museum of Flying. It has been registered to Pond Warbirds since July 3, 2001. It is now named Miss Angela and is based at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

B-17G-105-VE, N3509G tanker 102 B-17G-105-VE, N3509G tanker 102 at the Edwards Air Force Base Open House on October 23, 1982.

B-17G-105-VE, N3509G tanker 102 B-17G-105-VE, N3509G tanker 102 at the Mojave Airport, California on December 28, 1982.

B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 at the Goleta tanker station on July 9, 1983.

B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 takes off from Runway 07 at the Santa Barbara Airport on July 10, 1983.

B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 takes off from Runway 07 at the Santa Barbara Airport on July 10, 1983.

B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 takes off from Runway 07 at the Santa Barbara Airport on July 10, 1983.

B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 takes off from Runway 07 at the Santa Barbara Airport on July 10, 1983.

B-17G-85-D, N9563Z tanker 89 and B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 B-17G-85-D, N9563Z tanker 89 and B-17F-70-BO, N17W tanker 04 at Falcon Field, Arizona on December 15, 1984.

B-17G-85-D, N9563Z tanker 89 B-17G-85-D, N9563Z tanker 89 at Falcon Field, Arizona on December 15, 1984.

B-17G-85-D, N9563Z tanker 89 and B-17G-110-VE, N3193G tanker 34 B-17G-85-D, N9563Z tanker 89 and B-17G-110-VE, N3193G tanker 34 at Falcon Field, Arizona on December 15, 1984.

Much of the information on this display was derived from Warbirds Directory by John Chapman and Geoff Goodall, published by Warbirds Worldwide.


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More B-17 Flying Fortress 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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CAL FIRE

2014 Calendar

You can buy a 2014 calendar featuring my photographs of California Department of Forestry fire fighting aircraft.

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: CAL FIRE

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: CAL FIRE

This calendar is dedicated to the men and women of CAL FIRE and honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens of California.

A dozen photos of California Department of Forestry fire fighting aircraft:

Grumman US-2A Tracker N416DF Tanker 96, Santa Barbara, September 13, 1979
Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat NX7195C Tanker E40, Beale Air Force Base, May 31, 1980
Grumman TS-2A Tracker N405DF Tanker 72, Santa Barbara, October 16, 1985
Grumman TS-2A Tracker N406DF Tanker 73, Santa Barbara, July 19, 1990
Grumman TS-2A Tracker N420DF Tanker 75, Santa Ynez Mountains. August 15, 2002
Bell UH-1H Huey N805EH, Santa Ynez Mountains. August 15, 2002
McDonnell-Douglas DC-10-10 Tanker 910, Victorville, June 17, 2005
Grumman S-2T Tracker N439DF Tanker 74, Santa Barbara, June 19, 2006
Grumman S-2T Tracker N436DF Tanker 76, Santa Barbara, June 19, 2006
North American OV-10A Bronco N403DF, Santa Barbara, June 19, 2006
Grumman S-2T Tracker N439DF Tanker 74, Santa Barbara, June 25, 2006
McDonnell-Douglas DC-10-10 Tanker 911, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway, June 11, 2011

Buy my CALFIRE: 2014 calendar at Lulu! Put a copy of the CAL FIRE: 2014 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $16.95.


Aerial Tankers

2014 Calendar

You can buy a 2014 Calendar featuring my photographs of aerial tankers in flight and fighting fires.

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Aerial Tankers

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Aerial Tankers

A dozen photos of aerial tankers:

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress N17W Tanker 04, Santa Barbara, September 12, 1979
Douglas DC-7C N5903 Tanker 35, Santa Barbara, November 28, 1980
Douglas C-54E Cargomaster N460WA Tanker 151, Santa Ynez Valley, July 30, 1990
California Air National Guard C-130E Tanker 6, NAWS Pt. Mugu, April 25, 1998
Douglas C-54E Cargomaster N8502G Tanker 65, Santa Barbara Airport, May 5, 2004
Evergreen S-64E Skycrane N6979R Tanker 707, Santa Ynez Valley, May 7, 2004
Evergreen International Boeing 747 Supertanker, San Bernardino, May 31, 2006
Grumman S-2T Tracker N439DF Tanker 74, Santa Barbara Airport, June 19, 2006
Lockheed P2V-5 N1386C Tanker 44, Santa Barbara, June 19, 2006
Coulson Flying Tankers Martin JRM Hawaii Mars, Lake Elsinore, October 27, 2007
McDonnell-Douglas DC-10-30 10 Tanker Air Carrier Tanker 911, Mesa, Arizona 2011
BAE-146-200A N146FF Tanker 40, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, June 15, 2012

Buy my Aerial Tankers: 2014 Calendar at Lulu! Put a copy of the Aerial Tankers: 2014 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $16.95.

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