Just as a note, Mantz used a USAF ex-drone, 44-83592, for the crash and it remained with the USAF...it was subsequently scrapped. Mantz did have his own B-17F at the time...one of his Stillwater airplanes, but it was not used in the film. I know that Bruce Orriss is trying to put together that elusive list of airplanes used in the film but it has proved just that. Those airplanes came from an Eglin-based guided missile group and also, reportedly, at Brookley Air Depot. Since there were all modified to resemble B-17Fs and were painted and marked specifically for the film, there is no way to tie things up. Bruce figured out the history of his airplane (44-83887) years ago...it was used in both the 1949 and 1960s TV show of the same name, but the existence of the fuselage was not generally known or identified (it came from the bar in Greeley). And, yes, it does have its own section in Final Cut. It never was a civil airplane.
I think the only active drone controller at the time that still exists is 44-85738...the Tulare airplane, but I have my doubts that it was used in the film. I think they were pretty much drones that were used, but that's just conjecture. How much effort was made to install turrets and remove post-war equipment, only to put the airplanes back into drone configuration at a time when there were still hundreds of new B-17s in storage awaiting use. My guess is all the airplanes were "reclaimed" after the filming was completed.
Hi Scott, I'm wondering if Bruce has a typo on his website, as he shows his bird as being 44-83387
, easy to make an 8 into a 3.http://tafhs.net/Piccadilly%20Lily/B-17G.htm
Forgive me if this has been discussed before...
Now to send you that check...