So what is the pilot’s view like?
Well most of us have been in a plane at one time or another, and some in small planes where you can see out the front, but a B-17 ? And not any B-17, but the Sally-B? That has to be something else!
One man who had this view more than most was the man who bought a B-17G in the mid 1970s. Ted White was a businessman who had a passion for flying and had created a company that dealt with world wide aircraft ferrying. He heard of a B-17G that was to be disposed of, so immediately set about purchasing the aircraft. By doing so, he started a sequence of events, that 40 years later, is still being acted out.
He named the aircraft after his companion, Elly Sallingboe, and the Sally-B was born. Viewers of the Sally-B on Friday will have noticed the nose cone art on it, a reclining Sally-B on the port and a sitting-up Memphis Belle on the starboard side.
Ted was tragically killed when flying his Harvard G-ELLY, but his memory is continued to this day, as the black and yellow chequerboard design on his Harvard, is always to be seen on the Sally-B on the starboard inner cowling.*
And now, if you have the time, we have the views. From the pilot’s eye, that is, so see the following images of views enjoyed by the crew as they flew over Geddington and Grafton Underwood .
The crew on 22nd May was:
Pilot: Captain Roger Miles, ex-British Airways Concorde captain
Co-Pilot: Captain Peter Kuypers, KLM captain
Flight Engineer: Chief Engineer Peter Brown
2nd Engineer: Steve Carter
And it is Steve Carter that we have to thank for the photographs above – many, many thanks for a unique view of a very special memorial.
Steve commented: “It is the 70th anniversary of Sally B being built, but even more importantly, it is the 40th anniversary of the Sally B operating from Duxford as a flying memorial, which under Elly’s leadership, has been achieved by a dedicated volunteer crew.”
He continued: “It is always an honour and a pleasure to participate in a memorial flight of this type, over an old airfield, where we hope that people see what our aim is in keeping Sally B in the air as a flying memorial to all aircrews from all nations, both those that survived and even more so to those that gave their lives for our today.”
* Lots more information about Ted White and Elly Sallingboe, the current ‘boss’ of the Sally B, the B17 Preservation Group and all its activities, can be found at www.sallyb.org.uk. It’s a very comprehensive site which anyone, of any age, will find fascinating.