25th October 2013
After a most successful 38th display season, our B-17 left her summer residence on the flight line at IWM Duxford on the 23 October to go under cover in hangar T2 North where she is to begin her winter maintenance. Over the coming months Chief Engineer Peter Brown and his team will be busy with yet another extensive annual inspection and maintenance programme.
Free admission to Duxford and Guided tours of Sally B are exclusive 'perks' for members of the supporters club and I am delighted that so many of you have been able to visit and enjoy these very special privileges.
But, all is not lost; members can still visit Sally B but now on the first Sunday of each month. From November to April from 1030 – 1500, two of our loyal team will be at Duxford to escort you around and whenever possible inside Sally B. There may be times when for health and safety reasons you cannot go inside, but the team will show you around and tell you what Peter Brown and the team are up to. Do please note that during the winter maintenance children will not be allowed in the maintenance area, they will have to wait till spring when the aircraft is outside again.
You can, of course still visit on any other day but there will be no one to show you around or inside Sally B.
Our support team will be at Duxford on the 10 November, Remembrance Sunday, you will not be able to enter the aircraft, but do come and say hello
Your Sally B News will full information on the 2013 display season is being prepared now and should be in your letter box late November. For those of you who are not members yet, here is the current Sally B News and the latest Bulletin - it could inspire you to join – we need you!
A unique 8th Airforce 70th Anniversary Tribute Flypast will take place on Bank Holiday Monday 27 May over a selection of USAAF bomber and fighter bases in East Anglia. The flypast consisting of our B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B with four fighters from the Eagle Squadron, a historic four-ship comprising a Hawker Hurricane, Spitfire, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang.
Over Bassingbourn and Madingley Sally B will fly in formation with the fighters. After passing Madingley the Eagle Squadron will break away and the B-17 will then be following a few minutes behind them.
Timings for B-17:
Fighters return 1331
Here is hoping for brilliant weather for this unique historic flypast.
21st April 2013
Following an extensive winter’s maintenance in Hangar T2 by Chief Engineer Peter Brown and his loyal team, our B-17 will leave hangar T2 at Duxford on Wednesday 24th April and return to her enclosure on the flight line. Here she will remain on static display throughout the summer when not flying.
Once outside Peter Brown and his team will complete the winter’s work by installing the wingtips and test running the engines in preparation for the test flight and crew training in the capable hands of Captain Andrew Dixon. Then she will be ready to begin her 38 display season in the UK.
Duxford’s Spring air show on the 26th May will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the USAAF 78th Fighter Group’s arrival there. The highlight will be the first ever display by the “Eagle Squadron”. This historic four-ship display comprises a Mark I Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, P-47 Razorback Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang “Princess Elizabeth”. The Eagle Squadron will also fly in formation with Sally B – a sight not to be missed!
Another special Duxford highlight will take place the day after the Spring Air Show, Bank Holiday Monday, 27th May when Sally B, together with a unique formation of vintage aircraft, will take off and overfly a number of Second World War USAAF Bomber and Fighter bases in East Anglia for a special 70th Anniversary commemorative flypast.
Yes, it is seventy years ago, when huge numbers of young American airmen poured into the UK as the USA joined the air war in Europe; many of them would join B-17 crews flying daylight missions over Europe. Today, it’s hard to imagine the sight and sound of those B-17 formations. But with Sally B flying in honour of all those crews, we CAN hear the roar of those mighty engines and experience the immense power as she sweeps across the skies.
But, if we are to continue to keep Sally B flying we now desperately need more funds. That is why I have today launched a new annual appeal – the Sally B Appeal.
Please don’t let this be Sally B’s last year. Do support our appeal. Sally B needs your help.
29 December 2012
Following a successful 37th display season, Sally B is now tucked up, warm and cosy in her safe winter hangar at Duxford. Here she will be undergoing maintenance and will remain under cover until spring is here again.
The 2012 season – well, it was indeed an odd one! In my 37 years of operating, I have not known a season like this one. We lost quite a number of venues because of weather or the Olympics and during the entire season flew only eleven hours - , which is the least we have ever flown with a fully insured and serviceable aircraft.
On reflection, in spite of the greatly reduced number of appearances by Sally B and the blow of not being invited to participate at Madingley, we did fly some memorable displays and paid some iconic tributes - and Sally B was, as always, worthy of a gold medal in her own right.
During 2012, Five Sally B team leaders reached the amazing milestone of 30 years with Sally B. They are Our Big Chief Peter Brown, Derek Smith, Mike Stapley, Steve Carter and Andy Jackson. In recognition of their professional enthusiasm and long term dedication, their names have gone onto the Roll of Honour and will remain there for as long as we fly.
With Sally B safely installed in her winter home at Duxford, looked after lovingly by her engineering team, I look back over the year and reflect on what a strange season it has been, and on our not too rosy finances which have been steadily deteriorating over the past few years - to the point where we now desperately need more help if we are to continue. On a positive note, my team and I are determined, as always, to do everything in our power to keep Sally B flying for as long as humanly possible.
Members, don’t forget to take advantage of the FREE ADMISSION to IWM Duxford on non-air show days - all year round – and use the FREE access to the inside of Sally B.
Visit Duxford on any Sunday all year round, and one of our team members will show you inside the aircraft between 11am and 3pm (unless flying or undergoing essential internal maintenance). You can also look round Sally B during the summer when we are at other venues. Sally B is now Europe’s only airworthy B-17 so this is really something special. Remember - the general public cannot go inside!
These really are incredible perks for members, so if you are not a member why not join today!
Sally B pays tribute to the many..............
11 July 2012
We were delighted to have Sally B back in the air following what seemed to have been a very long winter. On 5th May, Andrew Dixon, Peter Kuypers, Daryl Taplin and Peter Brown took our aircraft for a CAA mandatory test flight followed by crew training at Cambridge. Our B-17’s first flight went without a hitch and Sally B was now ready to begin her 37th display season in the UK.
Yes, it is 37 years since Sally B arrived at the UK and it is the 70TH Anniversary of the arrival of the first B-17 in Britain. Our B-17 represents an important chapter in the story of flight from 1942 to 1945 when thousands of B-17 Flying Fortresses of the United States Eighth Army Air Force flew daylight missions out of British bases, many in East Anglia. They helped bring about the end of the war in Europe but, sadly, many thousands of young airmen were tragically never to return. It is, of course, in their memory that Sally B is kept flying.
Sally B’s 2012 display season began with the Jubilee Air Show at Duxford on 27th May. In brilliant sunshine a massive crowd of around 18,000 watched Sally B fly in the skilful hands of Andrew Dixon and Peter Kuypers. A most inspiring start to the new display season. On Monday 28th May, at 12.30 precisely, Sally B flew over the stars and stripes at Madingley Military Cemetery, followed by three circuits over the graves in salute and honour of the many young men of the USAAF who are buried there. I was there on the ground among the beautiful white crosses and was moved beyond belief….…
July is the 70 anniversary of the United States 8th Air Force first WW2 combat mission flown from the UK. To commemorate this tremendous period in our history, Sally B will take part in a series of commemorative flypasts and shows. For more information on the 2012 display season go to the list of shows.
For the duration of the London 2012 Olympic Games the display season has been brought almost to a complete stop as air shows taking place at venues near the action have had to be moved outside of this period. We had to turn down Damyn’s Hall in Essex because, according to the Olympic Police Rules of the Air, “loitering” is strictly forbidden - and displaying comes under loitering (unless you take off and land at the same airfield, in which case it is flying circuits, which is NOT loitering and IS allowed!). On the bright side, the Damyn’s Hall event is still going ahead as Military aircraft and aircraft that can take off, display, then land at the venue, are OK.
If you are a member, don’t forget to take advantage of FREE ADMISSION to IWM Duxford on non-air show days - all year round - and have a tour of Sally B on any Sunday unless she is flying. If you are not a member, why not join today, we need your help and membership has never been better value.
27 February 2012
It gives us great pleasure to announce that at the European Airshow Council’s (EAC) Convention in Brussels on the 24th February, Elly Sallingboe was awarded, the prestigious Jock Maitland 2012 Sword for her stalwart work with Sally B.
Elly said: “It really is a great honour to receive this outstanding award, not only for me but also on behalf of the B-17 team and our dedicated members. To know that the EAC Council appreciate the huge effort by so many people for so many years is unbelievable heart-warming”.
The wording on the certificate awarded with the sword reads as follows:
The 2012 EAC Convention was attended by some 200 delegates from 27 countries. It’s aim is to “Promote excellence and safety at Airshows”. It is open to everyone involved in the Airshow world including Display pilots, Performers, Organisers, Military and Civil Authorities.
20 October 2011
Sally B flew her last flight of the 2011 display season on Monday 17th October. This was a test flight to check the emergency landing gear lowering (as seen in the movie Memphis Belle) which had to be done before she goes under cover for her annual winter maintenance.
Massive increases in the operating cost made it necessary to delay the start of Sally B’s 36th display season, which began at RAF Waddington on the 2nd July. This was followed by a busy three months of brilliant shows and flypasts including our “Sally B and Friends Day” Thousands of visitors and many members flocked to Duxford for this special day of great entertainment, 1940s nostalgia and fantastic flying:
Phil Whalley reports on the Sally B and Friends Day at Duxford on the 31st July 2011. "Amongst Friends"
Photo Darren Harbar. click to enlarge
This was an outstanding success thanks to all who donated aircraft and services and to all who took part.
Within the next few weeks, our B-17 will move from her position on the flight line at Duxford into hangar T2 North where Chief Engineer Peter Brown and his team will begin the annual maintenance and inspection programme. But first, to get her in the hangar Peter Brown will have to take the wing tips off as the103 feet wing span is larger then the opening of the hangar doors.
If you are a member of the “Sally B Supporters Club” you are welcome to visit Sally B on any Sunday (1000 – 1400), when one of our team members will give you a guided tour of Sally B. Members also receive free entry to the IWM Duxford on none airshow days. If you are not a member why not join the Supporters Club today – Sally B needs you!
23 June 2011
Massive increases in the operating costs of Sally B and record high fuel prices have made it necessary to delay Europe's last remaining airworthy B-17's display season untill the 2nd July, when she will begin her 2011 season at RAF Waddington.
2011 heralds Sally B's 36th display season in the UK - an unbelievable and incredible feat in itself. With no official support, this has been achieved by relying solely on charitable donations, sponsorship & souvenir sales.
That Sally B, a living piece of our national heritage, has lit up the skies over Europe for the last three and a half decades, let alone survived for 66 years is a tribute to operator Elly Sallingboe and her team. Their hard work, commitment and drive, with the un-failling enthusiasm of Sally B Supporters Club Members have enabled this Second World War's icon to reach these incredible mlistones.
But, funds are now running dry and we do need more help if we are to survive. Please help us ensure that Sally B can continue to fly in this country to honour the many thousands who gave their lives for our freedom.
Together, let's put our hands in our pockets and Save Our Sally B!
We are extremely gratefull for everything we receive, every little bit helps, it all goes towards the cost of keeping Sally B in flying condition. You can support Sally B by making a donation to our 2011 Appeal, and/or by joining the Supporters Club.
We thank you!
Below you will find information on the special Sally B and Friends Day at Duxford on the 31st July 2011
Phil Whalley reports on the Sally B and Friends Day at Duxford on the 31st July 2011. Amongst Friends
An outstanding success thanks to all who took part.
Sally B and Friends Day
Imperial War Museum Duxford
Sunday 31st July 2011
22 June 2011
Sally B and Friends Day is an exiting new event, held by B-17 Preservation in partnership with IWM Duxford, honouring B-17 Flying Fortress G-BEDF Sally B, now the last remaining B-17 flying in Europe.
This will be an informal, relaxed day, and while it is not an air show, it will feature some fantastic flying, starring Sally B as the primary focus with participation from an array of historic aircraft.
Sally B will take to the air no less than 3 times in various formations with some of her big - and little - friends.
A 1940s US atmosphere will be enjoyed across the museum with the musical sound of Vera Lynn and Glenn Miller, vintage vehicles and second World War re-enactments, period costumes and uniforms - do join in with the 1940s atmosphere! Let's see you dressed in a '40s dress or uniform.
Throughout the day, members and visitors will have the chance to meet the pilots and crew of many display aircraft and at set times there will be talks about Sally B by her operator and crew. These are simply some of the highlights of the day - there will be much, much more on offer on this very special nostalgic day at Duxford.
Join us for this evocative celebration of the legendary B-17 bomber at the historic airfield that was home to the United States Army Air Force during the latter half of the second World War.
And ... there is a very special Perk for Members of the Sally B Supporters Club - as a big "thank you" for their loyal support throughout the year - IWM Duxford has given members of the Sally B Supporters Club free access not only to this special nostalgic day but all year round on non air show days!
So why not join the Sally B Supporters Club today?
You can also join us as our VIP guest on this special day
Please note that this event is not an air show. It is a special occasion with elements of flying.
For non-members: standard admission to th IWM Duxford applies on this day and children aged 15 and under go free when accompanied by an adult. This represents a great value day out!
To obtain your tickets call the IWM Duxford Box Office on 01223 835000 or book on-line at http://duxford.iwm.org.uk
27 October 2010
Sally B's display season ended on an incredible high at the Duxford Autumn airshow on the 10 October when the IWM paid a stunning tribute to Sally B's 65th birthday and 35 years at Duxford.
As the undoubted star of the show Sally B took the lead in a special birthday flypast accompanied by three Mustangs and two F15s. Thank you Duxford for doing us proud and for making this outstanding occasion such an unforgettable and moving celebration.
Having flown just six weeks during 2008/09 we were delighted to complete a full display season without major hiccups. Three shows were missed due to weather, sadly this included the Madingley Flypast. One other show was cancelled because of oil pressure malfunctioning - but all in all, Sally B behaved impeccably throughout her special anniversary season.
One of the season's highlights was in June, with a special visit to my home country of Denmark, where we had been invited to take part in the Royal Danish Air Force anniversary airshow at Skrydstrup.
In May, the BBMF Lancaster had been due to overfly several Danish towns to commemorate the Danish Liberation in 1945. But the bomber had a technical so it did not happen.
Therefore, a plan was made to give the Danish people the opportunity to see the only other airworthy WWII bomber in Europe and complete what the BBMF was unable to do a month before. This we did and to top it all we were awarded Best Display in the show that included amongst other attractions a formation of sixteen F16s in a diamond formation - we were extremely proud to be held in esteem above such a high standard of displays.
This mission was an undoubted great historic achievement and a first for Sally B.
Much more about this and all the happenings around Sally B in our members magazine, Sally B news, out in November, but you must be a member to receive it, so why don't you join us by completing the on-line application form
Sally B ready to celebrate her anniversary year
2nd April 2010
2nd April 2010
Following an extensive winter maintenance programme by Chief Engineer Peter Brown and his growing band of brothers, Sally B is now ready to leave her cosy winter hangar at Duxford, for her summer residence on the flight line.
Weather permitting, Sally B will take to the skies on the 29th April for a test flight and crew training in preparation for her 35th Anniversary Display Season.
2010 is a huge landmark year in several ways for our aircraft. It is her 65th birthday and – most remarkably – it is 35 years since she arrived in the
At Biggin Hill back in 1975, when I watched the B-17 arrive from Creil in France, I would never in a million years have imagined that she would still be here, and still flying today! Yet, here we are, more than three decades later, with Sally B celebrating not only those two milestones but also 75 years of the B-17 and, 30 years of the Sally B Supporters Club - some truly incredible milestones for our aircraft!
We will, of course, be celebrating throughout the season, at air shows and venues culminating at our annual member’s party at Duxford on the 5th September. You need to be a member to join us, so if you are not, why not join today. More news on our party will be posted shortly.
While celebrating, we must also remember that without teamwork and the help of our friends and supporters, this aircraft would not have flown for five years, let alone 35! Sally B really does have the best team spirit and supporters anywhere in the world. But, funds are now running dry and we do need more help if we are to survive. So, please help us ensure that Sally B will continue to fly to honour the many thousands who gave their lives for our freedom.
27th August 2009
27th August 2009
On the 15th August Sally B was up and running again after being grounded for another 8 weeks because of a crankshaft bearing failure on the no 1 engine, which meant finding and changing yet another engine. While scouring the world's warbird fraternity for a reliable replacement engine, help came from our good friend Don Brooks in the shape of a newly overhauled part-timed engine from his B-17 Liberty Belle. This was just what we needed! The engine arrived on the 5th August and was installed and ready to go one week later. Sally B took off from Duxford for the test flight on the 15th August - and this time it worked! Since then our B-17 has displayed at Rougham, Duxford, Shoreham and Bournemouth. Her next venue is our member's annual party at the Duxford Main Air Show on the 5th and 6th September. We are so very happy to have our Sally B back in the air. Many thanks to Don Brooks and Liberty Belle for coming to our rescue. Elly Sallingboe
On the 15th August Sally B was up and running again after being grounded for another 8 weeks because of a crankshaft bearing failure on the no 1 engine, which meant finding and changing yet another engine.
While scouring the world's warbird fraternity for a reliable replacement engine, help came from our good friend Don Brooks in the shape of a newly overhauled part-timed engine from his B-17 Liberty Belle. This was just what we needed!
The engine arrived on the 5th August and was installed and ready to go one week later. Sally B took off from Duxford for the test flight on the 15th August - and this time it worked!
Since then our B-17 has displayed at Rougham, Duxford, Shoreham and Bournemouth. Her next venue is our member's annual party at the Duxford Main Air Show on the 5th and 6th September.
We are so very happy to have our Sally B back in the air. Many thanks to Don Brooks and Liberty Belle for coming to our rescue.
24th June 2009
On Sunday 21 June, we had the result of the latest engine problem on Sally B and it was what we had all feared but desperately hoped could not possibly happen - the failue of the crankshaft bearing on the no 1 egine, meaning that the newly overhauled engine has also failed.
How this happened no one can explain. We are at this moment in total disbelief, totally perplexed and utterly devastated.
Where do we go from here? At this moment we are scouring the world's warbird fraternity in the search of a reliable replacement engine, but in the meantime Biggin Hill, Flying Legends and Waddington are cancelled. A full investigation into all aspects of the recent engine failures is being done and no stone will be left unturned.
I do so hope that we will be up and running by the middle/end of July, but only time and finding another engine will make this possible.
Believe me no one is more devastated about this than I am.
Our Sally B will be flying again as soon as humanly possible.
16th May 2009
Sally B, the UK’s only airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress, is back in the air to thrill the crowds again this summer.
Grounded since October 2007 by a frustrating series of engine problems, this much-loved aircraft will return to the air at the Duxford Spring Air Show on the 17th May 2009. Getting her flying again after being grounded for 18 months has given us all a tremendous boost.
Thanks to our many dedicated friends and supporters, and last but not least to Mr Bertie Ashby. Without this tremendous support we would not have gotten through the dark times and we would not have Sally B back in the air now.
Photo credit: Gary Brown
26th December 2008
Having lost the entire 2008 flying season because of engine problems, Sally B is now getting ready to play a key role in telling the story of aviation at air shows throughout the 2009 display season.
Sally B represents an important chapter in the story of flight from 1942 to 1945 when thousands of B-17 Flying Fortresses of the United States Eighth Army Air Force flew daylight missions out of British bases. They helped bring about the end of the war in Europe but, sadly, many thousands of young airmen were tragically never to return. It is in their memory that the aircraft is kept flying.
2009 heralds Sally B’s 34th display season – an incredible feat in itself. The preservation of this aircraft, a living piece of our national heritage, has been achieved for over thirty-three years by a dedicated team of volunteers, with no official support whatsoever, relying solely on charitable donations, sponsorship, souvenir sales, the loyal support of its working team of volunteers and the 6,500 Members of the Sally B Supporters Club. The B-17 Charitable Trust, Registered Charity No. 1079007, was set up in January 2000 to help secure the aircraft’s future in this country.
For airdisplay bookings contact Elly Sallingboe: 0044 (0)1638 721304
6th August 2008
I am sorry to have to inform you that the B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B will now not be flying this year.
Following an extensive investigation after the aircraft's two engines failed it has become clear that the repair work cannot be completed by October when her display season ends.
Engines and good spare parts have become increasingly difficult to find and as this goes to print we have found the fault in the first failed engine which is now being repaired. The other failed engine is still under investigation in the USA.
We are all saddened by this unfortunate turn of events, especially as this is the first time in the aircraft's 33 years of display flying that she missed a complete season.
We are confident that 2009 will see our B-17 back in the air where she belongs.
25th July 2008
In June Elly Sallingboe was awarded the Transport Trust Lifetime Achievement Award by Prince Michael of Kent for her efforts to keep the UK's only B-17, Sally B, in the air.
During the ceremony David Lee of the Transport Trust made the following speech: For more information about Sally B or The B-17 Charitable Trust please contact Elly Sallingboe: firstname.lastname@example.org tel (01638) 721304. www.sallyb.org.uk
"This award is in recognition of over 30 years of dedication to the preservation and operation of Britain's only airworthy Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.
In early 1981, as a very new Imperial War Museum employee I met a gentleman called Ted White who had two beautiful ladies in his life. One was an example of the most famous of all American wartime bombers, a B-17 Flying Fortress named Sally B in honour of his other love, Elly Sallingboe who we are honouring today.
Tragically Ted was killed in a flying accident in June 1982, leaving Elly to pick up the challenge of keeping this very expensive warbird in the air both as a tribute to Ted, but also as a flying memorial to the tens of thousands of American aircrew who lost their lives in her sister aircraft during the Second World War. Telling how she has achieved that aim in the face of what would have been insurmountable difficulties to anyone else would take many hours but suffice it to say that Elly does not accept that anything is impossible as far as Sally B is concerned.
Fuel and insurance costs are ever increasing and only a few weeks ago, a newly refurbished engine failed during test causing the loss of financially essential flying display commitments whilst a replacement is sought. The aircraft is now backed by a Charitable trust of which Elly is the Chairman and she is always the first to say that she has a wonderful team supporting her. But without Elly there would be no Sally B to bring tears to the eyes of the dwindling band of Eighth Air Force veterans and to delight airshow audiences.”
Elly Sallingboe, anxious to acknowledge her team as always, said "It is an honour to receive this prestigious award and it is heart-warming to know that people appreciate the huge effort by so many people for so many years”
19th May 2008
We are sorry that the UK’s only airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress, Sally B is momentarily grounded. Now in her 63rd year, the job of keeping this flying memorial in the air is always hard work and sometimes luck is just not on our side...
Over the winter, in readiness for the 2008 flying season, a replacement engine was fitted but in early May this sadly failed during a test run. With important assignments coming up, including the Duxford show and our salute to the American Military Cemetery at Madingley, followed by the Biggin Hill International Air Fair, the decision was taken to change this engine.
Thanks to the wonderful recent financial contributions from Bertie Ashby and our Sally B Supporters Club members we were in the position to be able to enlist a full-time professional engineer to assist with this second engine change. This would put us back on schedule for the season.
All concerned were devastated when this engine also failed during its first flight. Lady luck was just not with us this time.
At this moment we cannot tell you when Sally B will be back where she belongs - in the air. Everything that can be done to turn this situation around safely and quickly is being done.
So, rest assured, although the team are well and truly saddened by this sequence of events we will bounce back.
We have many people around us who help us in so many ways, no more so than through the incredible efforts of our Supporters Club, that we will overcome this. We are sorry to have missed the beginning of the season but hope to resume our flying programme in July at the Flying Legends Air Show at Duxford.
New Engine for Sally B as she begins the 2008 Display Season
During a training flight at the end of the 2007 season, a problem arose for the crew of Sally B when there was an indication of low oil pressure on the no. 1 engine. Captain Roger Mills immediately returned to the aircraft’s home base at Duxford, where it soon became apparent that the engine had seized.
For B-17 Sally B Operator Elly Sallingboe and Chief Engineer Peter Brown, this meant arranging for additional manpower and all the necessary equipment for the team to build up and replace the failed engine with Sally B’s spare. They also had to find new oil system components and a new spare engine - all in all, an expensive and complex undertaking. With the generous gift from Mr Ashby and the help from our trusted members and friends – and not forgetting the hard work of our professional team of volunteers – it was achieved.
The last time Sally B had an engine out was on Guernsey in 1998. The aircraft was stranded for almost a year, and required no fewer than three engine changes before it could finally return home to the UK.
Replacing this engine is a nostalgic experience for Peter Brown, who, back in 1984, had fitted it onto Sally B as his very first job on the aircraft. This Wright Cyclone engine has been on Sally B for 23 years – quite a feat!
Thank you Bertie Ashby
It is with immense pleasure that The B-17 Charitable Trust can announce its largest ever donation - a piece of land that was subsequently sold for the sum of £360,000. This extremely generous donation came from Norfolk builder Mr Bertie Ashby.
We are extremely grateful to Mr Ashby, whose gift is the greatest news the charity has had for many years and has made such a difference to Sally B.
B-17 Operator and Chairman of Trustees Elly Sallingboe summed up just how much Mr Ashby’s gift means, saying: “For over thirty years it has been a constant struggle to make ends meet and keep this unique aircraft flying in this country. This outstanding contribution has given me a warm feeling of hope for the future survival of our beloved aircraft”.
Mr Ashby’s generosity came at just the right moment, when the aircraft’s finances were seriously depleted following one of the worst display seasons on record. 2007 was a near total washout, ending with a complete engine failure.
But with the euphoria over this unexpected gift, Elly was keen to stress the importance of the loyal support from the aircraft’s members, sponsors, friends and supporters: “Without them we would not have kept Sally B flying for 32 years, and we most certainly would not be able to continue in the future. We simply could not survive without this support. To Mr Ashby, our members, and to all our friends and supporters, thank you”.
Sally B has, without any doubt, the best supporters and friends in the world – one big family all working towards the same goal. So, if you are not already a member, please join us today by visiting our Sally B Supporters Club page.
B-17 Flypast at Madingley cancelled
Sally B still grounded - But she will fly again this season
It is with the greatest regret that we announce that Sally B will not participate in the official flypast over Madingley American Military Cemetery, near Cambridge, on Memorial Day, Monday 30 May. This is because, so far, no exemption to EU regulation 785/2004 has been forthcoming. This is the new regulation that puts the B-17 into the weight category of an airliner.
For the past thirty years, Madingley on Memorial Day has been this B-17’s most important and poignant annual engagement, carried out in honour of the 79,000 US Army Air Force airmen who flew from these islands during the second world war and died fighting for our freedom.
We are devastated not to be able to pay tribute to all those young men, especially in this 60th Anniversary of the end of the War. The idea simply beggars belief that the aircraft that flew to liberate Europe and now flies in honour of all those lost young men should be put out of action by the very people who owe their freedom to the existence of aircraft like Sally B.
However, we are determined that we will get her back in the air in time for the Special 60th Anniversary Commemorative Flypast over Buckingham Palace on 10 July. We are confident that a huge head of political pressure is building to resolve the unacceptable effect of the new regulation. Even without an exemption granted in time, we are determined that her first appearance will be on 2 July at Kimbolton Castle and the RAF Waddington Air Show.
To this end, we have assembled an impressive list of the great and the good in and around the aviation world who have been prepared to sign a letter of protest to the Daily Telegraph, which was published on Monday 23 May. The list of signatories follows this stop press notice.
We remain hopeful that a way can be found through this illogical and unjust law, so that Sally B’s 30th Anniversary season in this country will not be her last.