The Yankee Lady is owned and operated by the Yankee Air Museum based at the Willow Run Airport in Belleville, MI, which is approximately 20 miles west of Detroit. It was designed by Boeing and was built in 1945 by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Burbank CA. It was manufactured too late to see combat action in World War II.
The aircraft was transferred to the US Coast Guard and was used for iceberg patrol and air sea rescue until 1958.
In 1959 the future Yankee Lady was transferred to the civilian world and became an Air Tanker and was used to fight forest fires and apply insecticides to crops and forests.
The aircraft was used by the film industry in 1969 to make a move called “Tora Tora Tora.”
In 1986 the aircraft was purchased by Yankee Air Museum for $250,000 and restored over a 10-year period by a force of 100% dedicated volunteer workers. The Yankee Lady has won many awards and we believe it is the best B-17G flying today. It is 98% authentic…when you step aboard the Yankee Lady, you are literally going back 70 years to a time when our country was at war. The crew positions might seem small, but the guys who flew B-17s in World War II were young men, many of them were in their late teens. The guys who are left are all in their 80s and 90s today.
The only difference between this aircraft and those flown during WW II is the cockpit configuration which has been modified to comply with modern Air Traffic Control regulations.
The Yankee Lady is painted in the colors of the 381st Bombardment Group (H) 8th Air Force, based at RAF Ridgewell, England. This was done to honor the late Mr. Joseph Slavik who served in the 381st and was a major donor in the purchase of this aircraft. The nose art is not authentic but is representative of the era.
The B-17G carried a crew of 10, pilot, copilot, engineer, navigator, bombardier, two waist gunners, ball turret gunner, tail gunner, and a radio operator. A typical bomb load of a B-17G was 5,000 pounds.
The engines are supercharged and turbocharged Wright 9-cylinder, air cooled radials with 1820 cubic inches of displacement. They generate 1200 horsepower on takeoff and 600 horsepower in cruise. Engines cost $50,000 to overhaul. Fuel consumption is 200 gallons per hour. Cost to operate this aircraft including engine reserves, etc., is around $3,000 per hour. Cruise speed is 160 MPH.
The current crew members of the Yankee Lady are all volunteers. Flying and maintaining the Yankee Lady is a labor of love.
The Yankee Air Museum is a not-for-profit IRS designated 501c (3) organization. If you would like to make a donation or take a flight with us to keep this aircraft flying, your donation is tax-deductible.
Please join us for a 30-minute flight…we have never had a passenger on any flight who was disappointed…everyone gets off the Yankee Lady with a smile on their face.
Your “bucket list” will not be complete until you take a ride on the Yankee Lady!
|Registration Number||Date of Manufacture|
|Boeing B17 “Flying Fortress”||103 feet 9 inches|
|Overall length:||Empty weight:|
|74 feet 4 inches||36,135 pounds|
|Gross weight:||Fuel capacity:|
|65,500 pounds||2000 miles|
|Oil capacity||Engine type:|
|39 Gallons||Four 1200 hp Wright R1820-97 radial piston engines|
|Propeller type:||Max Speed|
|3 Blade Hamilton Standard||287 mph|
|Rate of Climb||Cruise Speed|
|500 FPM||187 mph|
|Service Ceiling||Number of Crew|
|35,000 feet||Two pilots, Eight crew|
|Thirteen 12.7 mm Machine guns||Maximum 17,600 lbs Bombs|
|Number Built||Number Surviving|
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