This is a shame, I consider the B-17 iconic, people recognize that airplane. There are very few left out of the 1000's that were built. Now there is one less operational B17. I wonder if it salvageable and they can use the parts to restore another. From a closer look, I think it is a total writoff.....that really bites.
B-17 known as a "Flying Fortress" (WWII Era) crashed and burned near Aurora - All 7 on board escaped without injury - Amazing
A vintage World War II bomber crashed and burned in a field southeast of Aurora Municipal Airport this morning, but the seven people on board escaped without injury, according to aviation officials.
The plane, a B-17 known as a "Flying Fortress," took off from Aurora Airport at 9:30 a.m. and went down about three or four miles from Aurora about 20 minutes later, according to Elizabeth Isham Cory, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration. "The plane is burning. We believe the seven people on board escaped without injury."
The pilot made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Highway 71 and Minkler Road in Oswego after reporting an engine fire , according to Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkle.
Gene Sheeley was loading groceries into his car outside a Jewel store when he heard a plane flying overhead. Looking up, Sheeley said he noticed the bomber was gliding extremely low over the intersection of Orchard Road and Illinois Route 71 in Oswego.
“I thought this puppy is flying low, but I didn’t realize it was going to crash,” Sheeley said.
But moments later Sheeley, 72, saw a large plume of black smoke rising into the clear blue sky. “The first thing that came to my mind was did anybody get hurt,” Sheeley said.
Fire Departments from Oswego, Sugar Grove and Plainfield on the scene.
The plane was manufactured in 1944 and is registered to the Liberty Foundation in Miami, Fla., Cory said. She believed the plane was the "Liberty Belle," which has been restored by the foundation. The plane was at the Aurora Municipal Airport on Saturday and Sunday, according to the foundation's website.
The "Liberty Belle" was sold on June 25, 1947 as scrap to Esperado Mining Co. of Altus, Okla. and was sold again later that year to Pratt & Whitney for $2,700, according to the foundation's website.
Whitney operated the B-17 from Nov. 19, 1947 to 1967 to test turboprop engines. It was donated in the late 1960s to the Connecticut Aeronautical Historic Association in East Hartford, but was heavily damaged in 1979 when a tornado threw another aircraft against the B-17’s mid-section, breaking the fuselage, the foundation said.
It was stored in the New England Air Museum in Connecticut until the foundation began restoring it.