‘Sally B and Friends Day’ – IWM Duxford, 31st July, 2011


There are B-17s and then there is ‘Sally B’, owned by B-17 Preservation Ltd., and seen here in the bright sunshine on the ramp at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford Airfield. Now the last B-17 flying in Europe, ‘Sally B’ is more than just an aircraft, it is almost as if she is kept aloft by the collective will of Ellie Sallingboe, her dedicated team of engineers, ground crew and flight crew, and thousands of enthusiastic supporters. This Lockheed-Vega built Boeing B-17G-105-VE (serial number 44-85784, British registration G-BEDF) has had a long and varied career, but ever since coming to Britain, she has graced the European air show scene with superb displays. Now, in her natural home of the Imperial War Museum, Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, she is a living memorial to those members of the United States Army Air Corps who came to Britain and fought alongside the other Allied Nations to liberate Europe.

‘Sally B’ (which also carries nose art celebrating the most famous Flying Fortress of all, ‘Memphis Belle’) will be the centrepiece of a new aviation event in 2011. In conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, Sunday, 31st July, 2011 will see the first ‘Sally B and Friends Day’.  As the promotional material from the Imperial War Museum states -“An informal, relaxed day, it will feature some fantastic flying, starring Sally B alongside a striking array of historic and contemporary aircraft”. Whilst emphasising that this is not an air show as such, there will be some great flying, and the whole of the Imperial War Museum will be open to visitors. The best part of this is that only the standard admission charge to IMW Duxford applies on this day; I think that this is a real bargain.

So, since I have been invited to join in the fun – that’s where I’ll be found on July 31st, this year. See you there!

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Some of the aircraft in the flying programme include :- ‘Sally B’ (of course!), P51D Mustang, Spitfire Mk IXb, Dragon Rapide (x2), T-28 (x2), DC-3, Beech UC-43 Staggerwing, Beech 18, Fiat G.46, Cessna L-19 BirdDog, Extra 330SC and more!

I think that this is going to be a splendid event – see you all there!

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