July 21, 2013, Melanie and I toured the inside of the "Memphis Belle" that was used
in filming the movie of the same name. North Coast Air, based at Erie International
Airport, hosted the event. This particular B−17 Flying Fortress is not the original
Memphis Belle, but is a version that was produced in 1945, near the end of World
War II. It is being leased by the
Liberty Foundation for country-wide
public tours while the ill-fated Liberty Belle is being restored. Rides were being
offered for around $500 per seat, so we had to pass on that. I'd gladly pay the
price if we could afford it, because the costs of operating such an aircraft is
enormous. Fortunately, wealthy sponsors pay for the majority of the expenses. The
Smithsonian of course has a fully restored B−17, but it sits in a museum and never
takes to the air. The B−17's four Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet radial engines
make an unmistakable sound in the air, as do other multi-engine World War II
era planes. I still run outside the house an search the skies when I hear such a
My son and I built a Revell
B−17 Flying Fortress plastic model back in the 1990s. It was painted with a
can of Testors flat olive drab.
Sure, there are thousands of pictures of the Memphis Belle on the Internet, but
none of them have Melanie in them, so that makes these special. Enjoy.
Memphis Belle at Erie International Airport
Memphis Belle tail gunner position.
Melanie with Memphis Belle at Erie Airport.
Our daughter's name is Sally, so we thought she would appreciate
Memphis Belle starboard side nose art.
Frederick Airport, Frederick, Maryland (circa 1990).
Video Tour of the Memphis Belle B-17 Flying Fortress.
Memphis Bell Bombardier Station.
Memphis Belle at North Coast Air, Erie International Airport.
Memphis Belle port side nose art.
plastic model of the B-17 Flying Fortress was a joint effort between my son,
Philip, and me. It was part of my program to teach him model building and finishing
skills. The project turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. - Colorado Springs,
CO (circa 1998)
Posted October 11, 2023 (updated from original
post on 7/21/2013)
About Airplanes & Rockets
Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)
Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form
of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey
through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which
all began in Mayo, MD
Copyright 1996 - 2026
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images
and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.