Boeing B-17G Liberty Belle
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Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress N390TH Liberty Belle visited the Deer Valley Airport in northwest Phoenix over the weekend of September 11 - 12. Rides aboard Liberty Belle could be purchsed for $430.
On June 14, 2011, Liberty Belle experienced an in-flight fire that resulted in a forced landing in a farmer's field. Although the B-17 was only slightly damaged, it was consumed by the fire before any fire trucks could reach the scene.
The Vega division of Lockheed delivered this B-7G to the Army Air Force as 44-85734 and its construction number is 8643-VE. Esperado Mining Company of Altus, Oklahoma bought it as scrap on June 25, 1947 and sold it to Pratt and Whitney Engines of Hartford, Connecticut for $2,700 on November 19, 1947. It was registered as N5111N and modified to carry a turbo-prop engine on its nose. Pratt and Whitney T34 and T64 engines were tested on this airplane. It was donated to the Bradley Air Museum of Windsor Locks, Connecticut on June 16, 1967. A tornado struck the museum on October 3, 1979 and inflicted major damage on the five-engined testbed. Tom Reilly Vintage Aircraft of Kissimee, Florida acquired the wreckage in 1987, but it remained stored at Windsor Locks until 1992. The Randsburg Corp of Portland, Oregon registered it as N817BR on July 13, 1999. Don Brooks and the Liberty Foundation of Atlanta, Georgia acquired it in 2003, registered it as N390TH, and restored it to airworthy condition. It made its first flight after restoration on December 8, 2004. It flies as 42-97849, Liberty Belle.
Link to the Liberty Foundation web site.
The bomber is a popular attraction on a hot September morning.
Nose art of Liberty Belle
This trailer accompanies Liberty Belle on its tour.
Liberty Belle taxies out for a revenue flight at 10: 35 on Sunday, September 12.
Liberty Belle takes off from Runway 7 Right.
You can buy prints or greeting cards of this photograph.
Liberty Belle lands on Runway 7 Right at the conclusion of the first flight of the day.
Liberty Belle taxies back to its parking place.
Liberty Belle taxies out for the second flight of the day at 11:43 AM. The pattern had reversed since its earlier flight, so it taxied to Runway 25 Left for take-off.
Liberty Belle takes off from Runway 25 Left.
Liberty Belle lands on Runway 25 Left at the conclusion of the second flight of the day.
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.
Deer Valley is the busiest geneeral aviation airport in the United States. It is a popular destination for barnstorming warbirds.
Liberty Belle appeared at Aerospace and AZ Days at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in March 2010.
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, N390TH Liberty Belle visited the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, which operates B-17G, N9323Z Sentimental Journey in order to make use of equipment and ramp space for engine repairs in April 2006.
Air Response tweaked and repaired Liberty Belle's engines, including replacing some cylinders. Air Response also adjusted the flight controls. Custom Connections was called in to fix various electrical system problems like CHT gauges and tail wheel lock indicator problems.
Liberty Belle is powered by four Wright R-1820 Cyclone, single-bank, 9-cylinder radial engines.
This Boeing B-17 was registered N5111N when it served as a Pratt-Whitney T-34 testbed with an extra engine mounted on its nose. The cockpit was moved aft to make room for the engine installation. Photo from wikipedia.
Link to the Wikipedia page about the T34 Turboprop Engine that was tested on this B-17.
Falcon Field is home to the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.
You can buy a 2012 calendar featuring my photographs of Military Aircraft at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.
A dozen photos of military airplanes flying at the Davis-Monthan Airshow on March 20, 2010. Aircraft pictured include:
General Dynamics F-16C Block 42G Fighting Falcon 89-2117 of the Arizona Air National Guard,
Lockheed EC-130H Hercules 75-1584 of the 355th Wing,
Sikorsky HH-60A Blackhawk 79-23344 of the US Customs and Border Protection Agency,
Sikorsky HH-60G Jayhowk 90-26229,
Sikorsky HH-60G Jayhowk 90-26226,
Lockheed HC-130P Hercules 65-0964 of the 79th Rescue Squadron,
Boeing F/A-18F Rhino BuNo 165910 Modex 117 of VFA-122,
Lockheeed U-2S Dragon Lady 80-1093 of the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing,
Boeing C-17A Globemaster III 99-0058 of the 58th Airlift Squadron,
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress N817BR Liberty Belle,
Douglas AD-4NA Skyraider NX965AD The Proud American,
North American P-51D Mustang NL74190 Happy Jack's Go Buggy,
Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0238 of the 355th Wing.
Put a copy of the Military Aircraft at Davis-Monthan AFB: 2012 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart.
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