The Restoration Of Memphis Belle Is Meticulous Right Down To The Paint Mixture
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (left) / United States Air Force (right)
Down To The Detail.
The one, the original, Memphis Belle was neglected for decades by the city of Memphis after coming back from World War II and was left in a state of corrosion and gutted by vandalism. After decades of deterioration, her significance caught the attention of the National Museum of the United States Air Force who reclaimed her and crafted a plan to bring her back to life (as a static display).
In the video below, you’ll see the finishing touches done but the crew which went above and beyond in her restoration. Although many parts had to be specially fabricated for the rebuild as B-17 parts are obviously not something one can buy nowadays, they tried to keep everything as close to the original as possible.
So much so in fact, that when painting her, the restorers looked up what kind of paint was used for the fuselage back when she was built and we’re not just talking about the color. We’re talking about the composition of the actual paint which they custom mixed.
Also, as you’ll hear at the end of this clip, someone noticed that the insignia was crooked on the original so they, of course, matched the original mishap when painting it on.
Memphis Belle is due to make an official appearance at the museum on May 17th, 2018 after 13 years of ongoing work. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank anyone reading this who was involved in this project both directly and indirectly. Absolutely stellar work ladies and gentlemen.