On 6 September 1943, B17F 'Lucky 13' was shot down over France on its way back from Germany. That aircraft is currently in a hanger located Asheville, NC undergoing a rebuild. This will be returned to flying condition, with a full complement of everything that was in it on that day, and will all be functional. There is a website, hangarthirteen.org and on it are lists of everything we are in need of. If you have odds and ends primarily for a B17F, as original configuration is the target, and can part with them for a reasonable cost, let us know at the website email address. In addition to large items, little things like ashtrays, lights, radio shock mounts, tuning shafts, various items that most B17 owner/operators ignore, are wanted. Of course donations will be accepted, and if physically large enough all donations will be identified by a metal plaque with the donors name, or otherwise be posted on a plaque as contributors to preserving this aircraft, the only survivor of that Stuttgart Raid.
This restoration is being taken to a level most do not. The ribs on the B17 when replaced today, are usually an I shaped piece of aluminum bent into the proper circular pattern, and the skin riveted on. This leave a flat spot, which can be seen as a wrinkle. The rebuild not only has the ribs bent into the proper shape, the outside surface is contoured per the original Boeing drawings, such that the skin lays perfectly flat. This contour on the outside of each rib is different for each from nose to tail to match the taper of the fuselage over that distance. All Boeing plans are being followed to a 'T', the aluminum in use was spec'd by the FAA to make this aircraft airworthy and meet today's requirements, and is very expensive. If they had this grade of aluminum when the B17 prototypes were being built in the 30's, they would have cost 10 times as much.
So, if you can help, know of any leads on parts, really unique items like the Norden Bomb Site, or a ball turret with drive, let us know. Thanks.
Charlie in NC