To view previous years News, please visit the News Archive
A tribute to Sally B’s greatest supporter
by B-17 Operator and Team Leader Elly Sallingboe
4th March 2014
The close knit Sally B family were deeply saddened by news of the untimely death of Trustee and Sales Team Leader Derek Smith, who passed away on the evening of the 1st of March following a long illness.
Derek had been involved with Sally B for almost as long as she has been in the UK. It all began at Great Leigh’s, Chelmsford in 1984 when he first saw the aircraft fly. He joined the Sally B Supporters Club there and then and immediately began helping the late Betty Roberts and her husband David running what was then a small support stall. From then on, Derek’s involvement rapidly increased - from dedicated member to heading the sales team. In 2000 he was invited to become a Trustee of the B-17 Charitable Trust in appreciation of his absolute dedication to Sally B and all she stands for.
With inspiration, vision and tenacity Derek kept the sales team together for almost three decades. No one has a better team than Sally B and that was very much thanks to Derek’s superb leadership. His zeal for keeping Sally B flying took him away from home most weekends but he was fortunate to have a strong and loving family who supported his passion.
His knowledge of the history of aviation in the Second World War, particularly the various Bomb Groups of the US 8th Army Air Force, was vast. In 2007 Derek, with the help of Cliff Bishop, wrote the book “Pictorial Tribute to the Men and Aircraft of the 447th Bombardment Group (H) 1943 – 1945”. A second book followed in 2012 with co-author Malcolm Osborn “A Photo History of the 486th Bombardment Group (Heavy)”.
Derek was always held in great esteem by fellow Sally B volunteers as a much loved and dedicated team leader. He adored his team and through sickness and health he was always there for all of us, and gave his all to keeping Sally B flying. Our aircraft could not have had a better ambassador, nor could it have been better represented. Derek was an inspiration and a huge part of Sally B.
Those of you who knew Derek will understand just how dreadfully he will be missed and we will cherish his memory – always!
Our hearts go out to Derek’s amazing wife June, daughters Carole and Teresa and grandchildren Carly, Genna, Sam, Lauren and Connor whose loss is by far the greatest.
We raise our heads, scan the sky and salute you Derek
Derek Smith’s funeral will be on Monday 17th March at 11.20
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 To view previous years News, please visit the News Archive
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.
To view previous years News, please visit the News Archive