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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Warbird Digest
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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 Post subject: Searching for B-29
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:18 pm 
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Ok Folks,

Here is one that fell off the radar.

44-86402 last seen at the Aircraft Industries Musuem in Louisville Ky time period 1072.

So does anyone know if this 29 is still out there and second does anyone know about this Musuem and what else did they have.

Cheers
RER


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:23 pm 
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That's before the Wright Bros.!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:32 pm 
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Stoney wrote:
That's before the Wright Bros.!


Ha Ha ok I meant 1972 there happy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:10 pm 
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I don't have any record of that tail number being a "survivor". Some references say it was used to drop experimental rocket craft. Others show it as a prototype for re-fueling tanker. Think it's history.......... :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:37 am 
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I was chasing after that bird myself Rob...and while I don’t have any concrete evidence as to her current disposition (or demise!), I do have a strong suspicion as to what became of her.

But first as APG85 noted, 44-86402 was one of two prototype boom tankers, the other being 44-86398. These two, along with three others were modified B-29’s designated YB-29J’s. Most easily recognized by their “Andy Gump” nacelles, etc. (still looking for one of those, incase anyone is using one as a chicken coop or something)

As for what became of 44-86402?

I believe it might have ended up in the possession of a “junk collector” in Cleveland. During my searches for this bird (or any B-29 in general in the surrounding areas) I found numerous newspaper articles about a junk collector in Cleveland. Among other things, the articles specifically mentioned a quote “B-29 fuselage” among his collection of hundreds of old junk cars and everything else you could imagine.

There was just one problem though: this “collector” had died a couple of years ago, and in order to settle numerous lawsuits against him by the local township, his family had turned possession of a number of his properties over to the township as part of the settlement...and they were cleaning them up, fast! I had better act soon....

I tried to contact his surviving family members, but my attempts were unsuccessful. The newspaper that published the above mentioned articles about him were not forthcoming either. I did go so far as to contact the city counsel, and I heard back from one of the clerks who told me, and I quote “The fuselage was stolen, dismembered and sold for scrap a number of years ago. I remember it being in the local newspaper at the time. We have cleaned up this location and nothing of Mr. XXXXXX remains there.” (named removed for privacy)

After hearing that, I believe my exact words were @&$#*# *#^#*# *(@%#*(@ #^(*$#&....!!!!

I’m still trying to figure out exactly how one would go about “stealing” a B-29 fuselage, or even just a section of one...that is, if it was even an actual B-29 to begin with. Who knows, but what ever it was, it’s long gone now.

On a side note, a number of years ago I passed through Cleveland on my way to pick up some other Aero junk, and I believe that fuselage would have still been there at that time. IF I HAD ONLY KNOWN...


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 Post subject: B-29
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:07 am 
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If that is the B-29 you are talking about it was owned by a man named Karl Kleve here in cincinnati. I used to Drive past it every time I went my Aunts house it was sitting in on a lot with a old navy PT boat. The Township wanted to get rid of the eye sore so they called the land a dump and demanded it cleared. He died and the family lost the battle and they cleared the lot it was scrapped along with all his cars. An Interesting note is he bought the B-29 to help with the building of his car design. He used the main wheels for the tires on his car. He seemed to be a paranoid man he built a bomb shelter on his property. He also claimed to be a worker on the Manhatten Project. I have a few articles about him. I have contacted the township to see if they have pictures and things, but they have yet to get back to me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:14 am 
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What happened to the PT boat? Elco or Higgins ? ( Hey I'm not a one dimensional guy, OK )


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:45 am 
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It was scrapped with the rest of the stuff. the only thing that came out of it supposivley was a couple af allison engines that the EAA got. The boat was a higgins, I think I am not up on that to much. They are still trying to clean up all his properties acrossed the township. He had a few hundred pieces of property, and he just kept everything on them. I have wanted to go and look through the properties, but the family is very suspicious of everybody. then the ones the township now owns are fenced in and not ascessible


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm 
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They scrapped the B-29!!!!! I think I'm going to be sick......... :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:50 pm 
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Same... :vom:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:35 pm 
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I realize this might be a stretch, but the EAA museum has the complete nose gear, wheels, and tires of a B-29 displayed in their Eagle Hangar.

Anyone know if there's a connection here?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:38 pm 
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When did all of this scrapping happen? It sounds like it must have been some time ago. I find it amazing to think that this fellow could have been so far under the radar that the B-29 and Higgins boat were not recognized and saved. How could this have happened in the states so recently! What was the guy's name?

Cheers,
Richard


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:15 pm 
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unfortunately it was not that long ago, in 1995 I left for the navy came back for my first christmas and it was gone, I had gone down to get pictures when I saw it was gone. the township did not seem to care that it was a rare airplane they just saw it as an eye sore for the community.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:06 pm 
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1995! Now I'm really going to be sick (and a little angry)........ :cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:48 am 
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You'd be suprised how many really rare WWII warbirds around the world survived well into the 1990's before being systematically destroyed. :shock:

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