Sally B gets new lease of life

PUBLISHED: 12:07 12 October 2006 | UPDATED: 14:50 12 May 2010

The French aerobatic team, the Patrouille de France, display their skills during the Duxford airshow - Pic: Nick Emberson

The French aerobatic team, the Patrouille de France, display their skills during the Duxford airshow - Pic: Nick Emberson

THE legendary Sally B Flying Fortress at the Duxford Imperial War Museum has been given a new lease of life. And the work on the Second World War aircraft was unveiled to the public at the museum s last show of the year on Sunday. The UK s only remaining

THE legendary Sally B Flying Fortress at the Duxford Imperial War Museum has been given a new lease of life.

And the work on the Second World War aircraft was unveiled to the public at the museum's last show of the year on Sunday.

The UK's only remaining B-17 Flying Fortress, was given a respray by Southend-based company Air Livery.

The aircraft which has flown in the UK for the past 31 years was stripped down to its bare metal, primed and resprayed in the same colour scheme as before, complete with Sally B and Memphis Belle nose art.

B-17 operator Elly Sallingboe said: "It is so good to have the Sally B back to her former glory.

"This respray was long overdue to continue protecting the aircraft from the elements. Now with this new lease of life she should be all right for many years."

A museum spokeswoman said: "It's wonderful that the aircraft has been preserved."

The aircraft has needed a paint job for some time, but there were not enough funds to do the job because it has to rely on sponsors and members of the Sally B Supporters Club.

- The show at Duxford included a display from the French aerobatic team, the Patrouille de France.

There was also an appearance from an F-16 Fighting Falcon and a Fouga Magister from the Belgian Air Force.

- At the airshow, a memorial was held and tributes were paid to one of the last surviving Battle of Britain pilots.

Wing commander George "Grumpy" Unwin, who was considered one of the greatest fighter pilots stationed at Duxford with 19 Squadron, died in June at the age of 93.

The museum was told that his colleagues had plans to erect a memorial for him.

A museum spokeswoman said: "George and his Alsatian Flash were synonymous with Duxford during the Battle of Britain, appearing in many of our archive photographs.

"We are honoured to be chosen as the home of a tribute to him which will ensure that his time at Duxford is not forgotten."

Mr Unwin was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal and the Distinguished Service Order.

He is said to have earned his nickname after complaining about not being allocated an aircraft during the Dunkirk crisis.


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