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Thread: Recovering a local B-17F Wreck

  1. #1

    Recovering a local B-17F Wreck

    I've been entertaining this idea for a few months now, and want to get some input about how realistic this may be. I decided to make this post while I'm still thinking about how to start my crazy B-17 project.

    In the mountains near me, are two B-17 wrecks. In one, all crew members died- A clear no-go. The other, however, most of the crew survived. I beleive 3 of the 11 were lost, 2 on impact and one afterwards. It is located in Pingree Park, Colorado.

    here is the no-go crash: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/re...ingree-park--2

    here is the one I've been wondering about recovering: https://m.gazette.com/b-17-wreckage-...rticle/1522683

    I discussed this on another forum but never came to a definitive conclusion. This is B-17F 42-30891. It has very little of the fuselage left- Bulkhead fragments, and part of the tail enclosure. A large portion was removed by locals in the 50s for scrap.

    This is a local hiking destination, but parts of the wings, and unusable parts such as radio equipment and aluminum that is mangled beyond repair would be left. A very small portion of the wreck is useable. This is the section that would have to be identified in order to get a replacement data plate for registration, etc. and be used as the base for the restoration.

    Here are some pics http://imgur.com/a/1la6d


    If it turns out that this wreck is not practical (which is most likely) I'm also interested in 42-29563, a B-17F trainer that crashed after crew bailed out. It was buried mostly intact, and no casualties. http://www.aerovintage.com/229563_crash.pdf
    Last edited by Eli Josephs; 10-22-2017 at 10:55 PM.

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Anybody know who Eli would need to coordinate with, on something like this? Government still owns the airplane, so I assume he needs to get permission before recovery.

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3

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    Is recovering a wreck the only option? I donít follow B-17ís all that close but over the ~40 yrs Iíve been around aviation, several have risen from the ashes. I always guessed there was a stash of components hidden away somewhere....

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    Is recovering a wreck the only option? I don’t follow B-17’s all that close but over the ~40 yrs I’ve been around aviation, several have risen from the ashes. I always guessed there was a stash of components hidden away somewhere....
    There is a network of shops which can build one from almost scratch. But there is no storehouse of parts...

  5. #5
    There are enough parts to build one from scratch, but you wouldn't be allowed to fly it (except as experimental). By recovering a wreck, it's an actual B-17 rather than experimental. Of course, it's not quite that simple. I'm hoping to get some details here. For a wreck, you need to gain ownership, remove it, register it, make replacement ID plates based off of old paperwork... Probably much more than that.

  6. #6

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    How about a flying B-25 instead?

    http://iloveww2warbirds.com/b-25h-for-sale/

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by CHICAGORANDY View Post
    How about a flying B-25 instead?

    http://iloveww2warbirds.com/b-25h-for-sale/
    If I was going to get a two engine warbird it would be an A-26, they are cheaper than most other aircraft of their size.

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    I think I saw an A-26 for under $400K recently? But the B-25 has more classic 'style' IMHO.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eli Josephs View Post
    There are enough parts to build one from scratch, but you wouldn't be allowed to fly it (except as experimental). By recovering a wreck, it's an actual B-17 rather than experimental. Of course, it's not quite that simple. I'm hoping to get some details here. For a wreck, you need to gain ownership, remove it, register it, make replacement ID plates based off of old paperwork... Probably much more than that.
    You need an Airworthiness Certificate.
    An owner can make some parts without FAA permission. There may be limitations on what an owner can make. If you have a complete wreck it might be straight forward for an owner with an I.A. assisting to copy a few bent parts. But if you need to request a new Airworthiness Certificate then you must ask the FAA. Good luck with that.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eli Josephs View Post
    For a wreck, you need to gain ownership, remove it, register it, make replacement ID plates based off of old paperwork... Probably much more than that.
    Well, thatís another ďgotchaĒ only a manufacturer can make a data plate. If you donít have one, the odds of getting the LTC holder to make another is somewhat slim.

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