After Dallas airshow crash, how many B-17s are still flying? – FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul

The restored film model of the Memphis Belle flies over an airport in Tampa, Fla. (FOX picture)
Almost 13,000 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers had been constructed by the U.S. for World Battle II. After this weekend’s deadly crash at a Texas airshow, solely 9 of the historic planes stay airworthy.
Six people died in Saturday’s crash on the Commemorative Air Drive’s Wings Over Dallas WWII Airshow. Footage from witnesses exhibits a classic single-engine P-63 Kingcobra banking in direction of the B-17 ‘Texas Raiders’ and colliding with the bomber earlier than each planes break aside and crash, bursting into flames after hitting the bottom.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash, however it is going to be sophisticated by the truth that neither plane, due to their age, was carrying a flight information recorder, or ‘black field.’
Certainly, the age of the planes is a part of their attract. 
A formation of B-17 Flying Fortresses conducts a daylight bombing raid over German-held territory throughout World Battle II.  (U.S. Air Drive picture)
The Boeing B-17 was one of many main heavy bombers constructed by the US throughout World Battle II. The four-engine airplane sometimes carried a crew of 10, a number of of whom manned gun turrets from the airplane’s nostril to its tail. The gunners’ job was to identify and shoot down enemy plane whereas the bomber accomplished its mission.
The B-17 dropped extra bombs than some other kind of airplane in WWII and was primarily utilized in Europe, however did see motion within the Pacific as effectively. The planes turned recognized for his or her toughness and survivability, usually bringing their crews residence safely regardless of heavy harm. 
Probably the most well-known B-17 stands out as the ‘Memphis Belle,’ flown by the primary crew to finish the 25-mission objective set by the Military Air Corps. A 1990 film dramatized the feat, and whereas the plane itself is being restored on the U.S. Air Drive Museum, one of many few remaining B-17s tours the country painted with the Belle’s name and nose art.
Rows of B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers are underneath manufacturing at a Boeing plant in Seattle, Washington. 1942-1945. (Picture by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG through Getty Photographs)
Between 1937 and 1945, 12,731 B-17s had been constructed. Roughly 4,735 had been destroyed throughout World Battle II and whereas hundreds of them continued for use in numerous army and civilian purposes all over the world, most had been ultimately retired or destroyed.
As we speak, 45 B-17s survive in full type, and of these, solely 9 are airworthy. 
In line with the Experimental Plane Affiliation, the FAA, and data compiled by Wikipedia users, lots of the non-flying B-17s are at museums all over the world or are in numerous phases of restoration. Most are within the U.S. however a handful are within the U.Ok., France, and Brazil. Only a few of them really noticed fight in WWII, having been produced too late to see motion.
The ‘9 O 9’ carries 90-year-old Norbert Swierz on his first B-17 flight since he was shot down over Germany throughout WWII. There have been no Nazis this time; as a substitute, his household proudly cheered him on. Story by Jeremy Campbell initially aired February 11, 2011.
With so few B-17s nonetheless airworthy, the one place to see them in flight is normally at an airshow. Solely about 5 – 6 of the airworthy B-17s are on tour at any given time. 
Personal organizations just like the Commemorative Air Drive use the planes as flying lecture rooms and infrequently give rides to WWII veterans in an effort to maintain historical past alive.
The restored film model of the Memphis Belle fires up its engines in 2018. (FOX picture)
"The youngest ones are of their early 90s now," fashionable ‘Memphis Belle’ pilot Ray Fowler said in a 2013 interview.  "There's attending to be fewer and fewer of them to return out and share their tales."
In some instances, the excessive prices of operation and upkeep are offset by the sale of rides to personal residents. The uncommon expertise goes for a whole bunch of {dollars} a seat, with the priciest normally being the bombardier’s seat within the airplane’s iconic glass nostril.
It has been years since B-17 bombers rumbled down the MacDill Air Drive Base runways, so it was a particular deal with for airmen and their households when the ‘Memphis Belle’ herself returned. Story by Lloyd Sowers initially aired March 13, 2018.
After a 2011 ride aboard the restored B-17 ‘Aluminum Overcast,’ WWII B-17 tailgunner Foster Heath mentioned he supported the concept of right this moment’s Individuals getting an opportunity to see the planes that helped beat the Nazis.
"They need to know one thing about what went on throughout that struggle, in addition to some other struggle," he supplied.  "They need to know what goes on and possibly be a bit bit extra vigilant and we received't must have one other one."
This story was reported from Tampa, Fla.
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