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Thread: Recovering a local B-17F Wreck

  1. #11
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    One potential factor here is that the B-17 doesn't have Standard airworthiness....it's Limited category. Any advantages, there, in getting a near-scratch-built example flying?

    Ron Wanttaja

  2. #12

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    At some point in the 50's or 60's, USAF struck off as abandoned in place every unrecovered wreck, other than those where crew members were killed. Unless the rules have changed, any USAF wreck stateside, that had a fatality directly in the accident, is still considered a war grave and remains as non-recoverable. For wrecks on federal land, the feds own them. For those on private land and not a war grave, they belong by default to the current land owner. For those that were USN/Marine Corp aircraft, or bailed to either service at the time of the accident, unless specifically struck off and transferred with documentation to a civilian owner, they belong in perpetuity to the museum at Pensacola. Want to test them on it and say they have no claim, then just look up Pirate Lex and the Brewster Corsair.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    Well, that’s another “gotcha” only a manufacturer can make a data plate. If you don’t have one, the odds of getting the LTC holder to make another is somewhat slim.
    They might make a shiny one IF you return the old one.

  4. #14
    OK, so I'm going to say that my local crash site can't be recovered. Two of the airmen were killed, plus it's a well-known site that draws visitors, meaning both data plates are missing without a doubt.

    But what of 42-29563? No deaths, a largely complete airframe, both data plates likely still in place... I can't find (for sure) where it is, or who owns the site. Probably a good thing, because it means looters can't get to it.

  5. #15

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    A very fascinating subject and I'm impressed with the amount of knowledge being expressed by posters here.

    As Sgt. Shultz said, "I know nutting" about this stuff but I am curious. Seems there's an awful lot of bureaucratic gobbilygook involved that would have you going through hoops until the next millennium and with no guarantees of acquisition. Instead of a wreck, what about starting a search for a neglected but mostly intact B-17 that's been derelect on some old airport apron sitting around for decades previously used as a water bomber or a freighter? Just a thought.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    They might make a shiny one IF you return the old one.
    Yeah, lol tread carefully grasshopper.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eli Josephs View Post
    But what of 42-29563? No deaths, a largely complete airframe, both data plates likely still in place... I can't find (for sure) where it is, or who owns the site. Probably a good thing, because it means looters can't get to it.
    Worth investigating?


    Any wrecks in Canada?

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    A very fascinating subject and I'm impressed with the amount of knowledge being expressed by posters here.

    As Sgt. Shultz said, "I know nutting" about this stuff but I am curious. Seems there's an awful lot of bureaucratic gobbilygook involved that would have you going through hoops until the next millennium and with no guarantees of acquisition. Instead of a wreck, what about starting a search for a neglected but mostly intact B-17 that's been derelect on some old airport apron sitting around for decades previously used as a water bomber or a freighter? Just a thought.
    There aren't any. There are maybe 15 flyers and/or ongoing restorations to flight worthy status. The rest are at non-flying museums, most of which are government owned meaning the airplanes won't ever be for sale. So your options are to build one from scratch (with or without a dataplate) or buy one of "the 15".

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    There aren't any. There are maybe 15 flyers and/or ongoing restorations to flight worthy status. The rest are at non-flying museums, most of which are government owned meaning the airplanes won't ever be for sale. So your options are to build one from scratch (with or without a dataplate) or buy one of "the 15".
    Too bad, thanks for the info.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    Any wrecks in Canada?
    Not that I could find through some research. The RCAF acquired 6 B17's during the war. Two of them suffered substantial damage during ops in Canada and Europe and I couldn't find anything on the remaining four except that they were taken out of operation in 1946. Like most in the US they were probably scrapped.

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