B-17 Flying Fortress
Built as a Boeing B-17G-105-VE c/n 8693, the future Sally B was one of the last to be constructed by the Lockheed-Vega plant at Burbank, California. Accepted by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) as 44-85784 on June 19 1945 it was too late to see war service, and was flown to Nashville for modifications. Converted for training purposes and re-designated TB-17G, it was based at Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson AFB), Ohio from November that year.
Continuing in the care of 2750th Air Base Group (ABG), ‘784 was selected for use as a photographic survey aircraft and it was allocated the EB-17G type in 1949.
In France the Institut Geographic National (IGN) had purchased several B-17s after the war for survey and mapping work, and added others as necessary; ‘784 arrived in November 1954 and was given the French registration F-BGSR. Based at Creil, these aircraft carried out work for the French government, and others, faithfully for many years. As they entered the 1970s it was apparent that the cost of operating the Flying Fortresses was getting prohibitive, also spares were becoming something of a problem. The IGN replaced the B-17s with other aircraft, including the purpose-built Hurel-Dubois HD.34.
‘784′ moved to the United Kingdom and became B-17 Flying Fortress G-BEDF.
“Sally B” is now the last remaining airworthy B-17 in Europe. She is based in the UK from where she flies regularly at air shows, memorial flypasts and commemorative events as a memorial to the USAAF in Europe. Since 1982, Sally B has been operated by Elly Sallingboe of B-17 Preservation with the help of a dedicated team. Sally B is maintained by Chief Engineer Peter Brown and his team of volunteers, and flown by volunteer experienced professional pilots.
Aircraft type: Bomber Operator: B-17 Preservation Manufacturing date: 06/1945 Serial number: c/n 8693 - 44-85784