We’re not talking about just any B-17 here. Also, this is not the Memphis Belle that was used for movies nor any other publicity stunt as a prop. The REAL Memphis Belle is going to be in sparkling new condition in mid-2018 and we seriously can’t wait to see her.
We’re assuming that all of you know some of her history. She was one the first B-17s to survive 25 bombing missions without any casualties and was then selected to do a “war bond tour” to inspire Americans. Since then, two movies were made about her but she wasn’t taken care of whatsoever since then.
After the war, this famous B-17 was purchased for $350 by the city of Memphis and was put on display, outside mind you, until the 80s. By then, she was not only severely deteriorated on the outside but vandalized on the inside. She looked like an old heap of metal.
She changed hands a few times since then but was eventually moved to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio in 2005. That’s where she got the love she deserved.
Raising enough money and gathering a motivated workforce of volunteers, she was stripped down and renovated.
Will the famous Memphis Belle ever fly again though, well, no one really knows. It probably depends on how many donors can put up some money and how many more volunteers can put in the hours to get her back up. With this amount of history though, we sure hope it works out.
Below is the latest video update on her restoration. Looking good.