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Thread: Last flying B24?

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    MEdwards's Avatar
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    Last flying B24?

    Avweb had an article today about the last flying B24, owned by the Collings Foundation. I'm pretty sure I remember seeing a tan colored B24 at Oshkosh more than once. Just looked it up, and it was the CAF's Diamond L'il. Another article says it had a nose-gear collapse earlier this year. What's its status?

  2. #2
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    The intro to the AVWEB piece says:

    This video shows the sole surviving flying example: the only flying B-24 Liberator bomber -- there is one cargo B-24 flying -- left anywhere in the world of the roughly 18,000 built.


    CAF says this about their B-24, "Diamond Lil":

    On a training flight from Eagles Nest Airport, N.M., prior to its delivery to England, AM-927 experienced a landing accident. The damage was major enough that the aircraft had to be returned to San Diego for repairs. The plane was deleted from the order to be shipped to England and was converted to a transport aircraft. This was to be the prototype for the C-87 transport and AM-927 served as a flying test bed for further development of important B-24 features, such as modifying the control surfaces to help with lighter control forces for the pilots.

    So, apparently, their B-24 was never technically a bomber. Seems like a little bit of a stretch to me...

    Hal Bryan
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  3. #3
    MEdwards's Avatar
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    Thanks, Hal, for doing that research that I was too lazy to do. That does indeed seem like a stretch. I seem to remember lots of stories of important flying or display aircraft that had been converted and subsequently rescued from commercial, cargo or even firefighting service, and then restored to their former glory. To put an asterisk next to their original designation seems unfair.

    However, let's not complain. The Collings Foundation does really good stuff. So does the CAF, EAA, lots of others, including many dedicated and generous individuals, who keep them flying. We need them all.

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    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEdwards View Post
    However, let's not complain. The Collings Foundation does really good stuff. So does the CAF, EAA, lots of others, including many dedicated and generous individuals, who keep them flying. We need them all.
    Amen to that!

    Hal Bryan
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    EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

  5. #5
    MEdwards's Avatar
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    Eagles Nest Airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Bryan View Post
    On a training flight from Eagles Nest Airport, N.M., prior to its delivery to England, AM-927 experienced a landing accident. ...
    That statement caught my attention because I live in New Mexico. I couldn't find any reference to such an airport either currently or in the Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields website (a fascinating resource, by the way). So I did some research and found out what that was about.

    In 1941-42 Transcontinental and Western Airlines (TWA) trained pilots who ferried aircraft to Europe at the Air Corps Ferrying Command Four-Engine Transition School located at Albuquerque Army Air Base in New Mexico. Albuquerque AAB is now Kirtland AFB which shares runways and facilities with Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ). [Sorry, that is the real name.] In 1941 the location of the school on the field was named the Eagle Nest Training Center, or one reference called it The Eagle's Nest. The school trained over 1000 pilots and crew in about a year, after which it was moved elsewhere.

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    John Leidel's Avatar
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    To my understanding Diamond Lil started life, and is, an LB-30A which was the British export version of the B-24. As mentioned earlier it was kept stateside after a crash and converted into the transport configuration. It remained in this configuration until recently when it was returned to its original configuration as it was when it left the factory. That being said, the Collings Foundation B-24 is the only flying "B-24" as Diamond Lil is actually an LB-30.

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    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Isn't there at least one PB4Y-2 (the Navy version) still flying?

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    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    At least one - here's a photo we published about 2 years ago:


    Hal Bryan
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    Diamond Lil is now "Ole 927". She was hanging out at Cavanaughs at KADS with FIFI.
    http://www.warbirddepot.com/aircraft...rs_b24-caf.asp
    b-24.jpg

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    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcsimpson View Post
    Diamond Lil is now "Ole 927".
    Actually, the airplane became Diamond Lil in 1971. In 2006 the airplane was repainted with new Ole 927 nose art as painted by artist Chad Hill. Ole 927 reverted back to Diamond Lil in April 2012 with new nose art painted by Gary Velasco.

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