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(AP)   Plane flies again after being stuck in glacier since WW II crash landing.   ( austin360.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy  
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184 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Oct 2002 at 4:11 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

129 Comments     (+0 »)

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2002-10-27 04:13:15 PM  
that is so awesome
2002-10-27 04:14:47 PM  
Did Chuck Yeager fly it yet?
2002-10-27 04:15:14 PM  
[image from whitehouse.org too old to be available]
2002-10-27 04:15:40 PM  
was the pilot still in it?
2002-10-27 04:16:12 PM  
How many WWII planes are stuck in ice? I say people trying to free a B-24 (iirc) on the Discovery channel once.
2002-10-27 04:17:28 PM  
A beautiful plane if I may say so. Almost as good looking as the P51 Mustang!

Warbirds For Ever!1
2002-10-27 04:18:46 PM  
Yeah, I saw that too Impaler.. I also saw the one where the plane crashes into a mountain and gets covered in snow... only to leak out from under the snow years later and completely baffle everyone...

I mean, if a plane lands in snow, and snow falls upon it, it is going to be perfectly contained for years... so, I guess that's it
2002-10-27 04:19:15 PM  
Man, that rules...
Don't you think its sad how some people have their lives completely taken over by the military though?

2002-10-27 04:20:49 PM  
Warbirds, I agree, a beautiful plane, but I'm a Jug Lover at heart.
2002-10-27 04:21:47 PM  
I say people?

I saw people
2002-10-27 04:25:31 PM  
Kelly Johnson designed the P-38. He was also the lead engineer on the teams that made the U-2 and SR-71.
2002-10-27 04:29:14 PM  
It's too bad more P-38s didn't survive. Many of the P-51s found a second calling as racing planes... and these beauties are still winning races today. How I'd love to see a few Lightnings, polished and brightly colored, mixing it up with the P-51s at the air races.
2002-10-27 04:30:41 PM  
Jug lover is a reference to the P-51 btw.
2002-10-27 04:34:26 PM  
Hey guys, I was there yesterday to see the p-38 fly. Middlesboro KY is only about 15 miles from where I live.

It was awesome.

I went there several years ago and saw the plane, after they first brought it back and started working on it.
2002-10-27 04:35:36 PM  
I believe the "Jug" is the P-47. I'm not trying to be critical, I'm just an aviation freak.
2002-10-27 04:38:32 PM  
So cool. I LOVE the P-38 - fave WWII plane by far.

If I recall correctly, the P-38 was the only US plane to be in service at both the start, and finish of WWII. While it went through many revisions, that still says an enormous amount about it's initial design.


Jug lover is a reference to the P-51 btw.

Don't you mean P-47?
2002-10-27 04:38:50 PM  
Did anyone see the doco where they were trying to free the plane (B52 I think), worked on it for many months, one of the guys died during the restoration from some illness, then the battery came loose during takeoff and it burned to the ground on the airstrip while they all stood there watching.

Lucky bastards.
2002-10-27 04:40:56 PM  

Ouch, that sucks. Doubt it was a B-52 though - they're still in service. B-17, 24, 25 perhaps?
2002-10-27 04:41:30 PM  
My grandfather designed the cameras on the U2. He went ballistic when Gary Powers didn't use the self-destruct mechanism.
2002-10-27 04:41:41 PM  
That is truly cool. Nova had the show about the B-29 they tried to bring back to life. Rebuilt the thing and tried to fly it out. Then it caught fire and burned to the ground at the end of the makeshift runway. Really incredible show to watch.
2002-10-27 04:42:29 PM  
Balsamonkey and Drivinwest, Yes indeed, the jug is the P-47. My Bad. Thanks
2002-10-27 04:45:24 PM  
Pfft! Now this is a beautiful aircraft!

[image from cloud.prohosting.com too old to be available]
2002-10-27 04:46:15 PM  
I remember reading that the recovered P-38 was an earlier variant, C or D, instead of the more common J or L. I can't remember exactly. The restoration crew actually used original design schematics to retool the components that needed to be replaced.
2002-10-27 04:48:44 PM  
Nothing beats the sound of four Rolls-Royce engines cranking over in a Lancaster. Very pretty sound. After the war, most of those engines, plus RR's from Spitfires and Hurricanes went into racing speedboats.
2002-10-27 04:49:59 PM  
I watched a History channel documentary on the P-51 yesterday. Badass. Truly a great example of UK/US cooperation. The P-51B was designed 100% by the US and sent to the UK prior to the US entering the war. The Brits loved the plane for low altitude use but at high altitude it lagged behind the Spitfire's performance. They put a Rolls-Royce Merlin in it and the, the US redesigned it for a bubble canopy, etc., and the P-51D was born.

Kinda reminds me of how Caroll Shelby took a little British roadster, the AC Ace, stuffed an American small-block Ford V-8 in it, and created the Cobra.
2002-10-27 04:51:09 PM  
The P-38 was an incredible plane, as was the P-51. (I should say still is, on both counts.) The P-38 is second on my list of favorite WWII birds. The F6F Hellcat is number 1. That was one nasty bird to tangle with, and not easy to knock down. Sadly, only eight are still flying. IIRC, they plucked one off the Pacific floor some years back, and the guns still fired perfectly.
2002-10-27 04:57:22 PM  
VitaminJ that was a PBS documentary, the plane was a B-29 Superfortress
2002-10-27 05:01:08 PM  
A little something about the P-38 "Fork-Tailed Devil" from a Japanese pilot:

"On my first confrontation with the P-38, I was astonished to find an American aircraft that could outrun, outclimb, and outdive our Zero which we thought was the most superior fighter plane in the world. The Lightning's great speed, it's sensational high altitude performance, and especially it's ability to dive and climb much faster than the Zero presented insuperable problems for our fliers. The P-38 pilots, flying at great height, chose when and where they wanted to fight with disastrous results for our own men. The P-38 boded ill for the future and destroyed the morale of the Zero fighter Pilot."...Saburo Sakai, Japanese Ace

I, on the other hand, prefer the Vought F-4U Corsair :)
2002-10-27 05:04:55 PM  
Rhiannon: I saw the show about the B-29, and it just plane (intentional pun) broke my heart to see that beautiful machine burn on the runway. As you said, though, incredible show.
2002-10-27 05:05:14 PM  
Sorry the Corsair is my favirote, and like many of the best few are still flying today. Right now I am watching the restoration of the Collins Foundation F4U-5NL, this is its second restoration in the last 10 years. Right after the first restoration it got ditched into the ocean and now its being restored again.
2002-10-27 05:11:32 PM  
SpinStopper: I was looking on the Nova site to buy that one but it's not available. I'm just hoping it'll come on again so I can capture it to my hard drive.
2002-10-27 05:14:20 PM  
Speaking of the Corsairs, am I one of the few people who just loved Baa Baa Blacksheep? I wish they'd bring that back on TV here.
2002-10-27 05:16:25 PM  
The plane that burned to the ground was named the Kee Bird. Nova did a special on it a few years ago. These guys did an amazing amount of work in it in place, changing engines, new props, etc. They had the ballsy idea to just fly it right out of where it had been stranded for so many years. They would have pulled it off to, except someone forgot to turn a heater or some such off in the tail. I remember on the video that a lot of the men were crying while they watched it burn. I can only imagine what they were feeling as they saw all their hard work and a magnificent piece of history go up in flames.
2002-10-27 05:17:46 PM  
oops. Little slow on the trigger. Btw, the Corsair is my favorite, hands down...but the P-38 is a close second.
2002-10-27 05:25:28 PM  
Rhiannon Do you mean Black Sheep Squadron? I loved that show as a kid. Something about the gull wings.
2002-10-27 05:28:53 PM  
Guylorensmith: The show started as Baa Baa Black Sheep in 76 and renamed in 78.
2002-10-27 05:28:59 PM  
Drivenwest: "Kinda reminds me of how Caroll Shelby took a little British roadster, the AC Ace, stuffed an American small-block Ford V-8 in it, and created the Cobra."
The 427 is a big-block Ford V-8
2002-10-27 05:36:51 PM  
The 289 preceded the 427 Cobra. I believe Shelby's original design might have even been based around using the 260.
2002-10-27 05:39:08 PM  
Drivinwest - doubtful. I think both the B-17 and B-24 were in service the whole war.
2002-10-27 05:41:07 PM  
By the way, if any of ya ever happen by here in Tucson, AZ, we have the Pima Air & Space Museum. They've got over 250 aircraft, including several WWII planes fantastically restored. Unfortunately no P-51's or P-38's, but they've got an F-4U, a perfect B-17, a great B-29, and others. They've also got an SR-71. You can easily spend 4+ hours in there. You can also get tours of the USAF boneyard nearby, which is worth it. In the climate here, you can store planes alomst indefinitely with very little maintanence, so this is where the Air Force keeps a lot of stuff.
2002-10-27 05:41:07 PM  
This is cool and everything, but seriously 4 million dollars to see a plane fly? Thats almost sad.
2002-10-27 05:43:37 PM  
Strike - A lot of people look at it as preserving a piece of history.
2002-10-27 05:43:56 PM  
the_rev: I saw that P-38 in July. Did they fly it out of that little airstrip where they were rebuilding it?
2002-10-27 05:44:38 PM  
Rhiannon and Guylorensmith The show was loosely based on Gregory "Pappy" Boyington's book Baa Baa Black Sheep. At least in the beginning. Interesting book - I've read it. It has been called, "An autobiography, of sorts."
2002-10-27 05:44:49 PM  
Andonbray - why not preserve the lives of the present?
2002-10-27 05:48:10 PM  
I don't know what you mean. Still no cure for cancer or something like that?
2002-10-27 05:49:28 PM  
I just think theres better things to do with 4 million dollars than getting a plane to fly again. Im not sally struthers or anything, and no Ive never done my part for starving children, but damn, thats a lot of money.
2002-10-27 05:51:52 PM  
Wouldn't it just have been cheaper to re-tool the whole plane and skip the recovery part? I doubt they were able to re-use much of what was recovered. I know of a shop that builds/restores 1976 jeeps, and the only original part is the VIN number plate.

Incidentally, there's a dude in Gibsonville, NC, who is starting up a business building 1930's Grumman Grey Goose seaplanes. He bought the specs and all the rights.
2002-10-27 05:52:36 PM  
I would argue that preserving history is almost as important as assuring a future. 4 mil isn't really that much money anymore.
2002-10-27 05:55:57 PM  
andonbray: preserving history is one thing, paying 4 million dollars so you can selfishly see history again is another thing. Having that plane restored serves no purpose, at all. And 4 million dollars is 4 million dollars.
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