B-17 'Sally B' grounding lifted

Historic bomber to return to display circuit after successful airframe inspections

On the evening of 22 June, B-17 Preservation, the Duxford-based operator of Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Sally B, announced that the aircraft will resume flight operations for the first time in 2023, after a five-week grounding for inspections to comply with an airworthiness directive.

All B-17 operators were required by the US Federal Aviation Administration to check the main spar fittings of their aircraft for cracks. This followed the discovery in the USA that the port wing of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s B-17G Aluminum Overcast had moved by 2in at one of its attachment points. IWM Duxford afforded Sally B hangar space in the AirSpace building, where the necessary non-destructive testing inspections were conducted. Once all was found to be in order, the aircraft was declared compliant with the FAA-mandated checks.

With Sally B set to feature in the Duxford Summer Air Show on Saturday 24-Sunday 25 June, crew training flights are scheduled to begin around noon on Friday 23 June, taking place both at Duxford and nearby Cambridge Airport. The B-17 has appearances planned at a variety of shows this year, among them a trip to France for the Air Legend Paris Villaroche event in September.

To donate to B-17 Preservation and to join the Sally B Supporters’ Club, visit www.sallyb.org.uk

B-17G Sally B displaying at East Kirkby in 2021.
B-17G Sally B displaying at East Kirkby in 2021. BEN DUNNELL