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Memphis Belle to be placed on permanent display

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by mcoffee, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner) Patron  

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    "One of the most recognizable symbols of World War II will once again report for duty exactly 75 years after its crew finished their last mission in the war against Nazi Germany on May 17, 1943. Plans call for the aircraft to be placed on permanent public display in the WWII Gallery of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on May 17, 2018. The new exhibit surrounding the Memphis Belle will include interactive displays, rare archival film footage and many personal artifacts which have never been seen before by our visitors."

    Memphis Belle™ Exhibit May 2018


    Memphis Belle in the Restoration Hanger in 2014.
    MB 1.jpg MB 2.jpg MB 3.jpg
     
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  2. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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    I saw the Memphis Belle while it was still on display on Mud Island in Memphis. While I enjoyed seeing it, I hated to know that it was in an open air type of display, exposed to the elements although it was covered from rain. Glad to know that she has been restored for posterity.
     
  3. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Mcoffee (or any other USAAF buffs): I've read some back-and-forth online regarding the manner in which Memphis Belle was restored and the restoration methodology of NMUSAF as a whole. Some thought that the restoration went too far, and the historical value of the aircraft was diminished by making it look to be "factory new" condition. I'm paraphrasing here of course, but I'd be interested in hearing your opinion.
     
  4. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    Regardless of how she looks, she's beautiful, and I'd love to go see her.
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well the Memphis Belle was pretty beat up during here time in Memphis - lots of parts were taken/stolen. So, for those "purists", her "historical value" was lost then. However, they forget how much actually went missing.

    So, restoring her to factory new is no major loss, especially the interior.
     
  6. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Alan, I agree. I have seen things restored to better than it left the factory, especially vehicles. I would not like false patina either but just normal care in assembling. Ideally, as she appeared in combat with by ideal but that is long past. Perhaps just not fully restore her would be good to me. The Czech Aircraft Museum at Kelbley did not have a big budget so their planes were well cared for but now "renewed". You could imagine them on a field. Some stored outside were beginning to deteriorate but overall it is a great place and last time I was there a total of two people came by.

    The vechicles on Chaumont Ardenne Belgium Log into Facebook | Facebook are restored to running condition but look like it is 1944 !

    Gaines
     
  7. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner) Patron  

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    I haven't seen the end product, but I think Takao is correct that the extent of repairs needed to keep Memphis Belle from continuing to deteriorate dictated the path of restoration. One of the photos I attached from the restoration hanger shows her stripped to bare metal - with the exception of the nose art and data panel. After years of sitting outside I would suspect there were a lot of corrosion issues that needed to be addressed. If it had been in good shape, then just clean it up and fix what needed fixing would be my preference, but from the museum's standpoint, they are probably trying to reach the 'average Joe' who might otherwise say "why do they have that ratty looking airplane in here?" I'm glad they didn't strip the original art.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    CAC likes this.
  9. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    All modellers face the same problem...how to display the aircraft. Do I weather the aircraft or do I paint it the way it came out of the factory? Ironically one of the few planes I did weather was a B-17 because I always saw it with big oil stains on the wings (coming from the engines) - It seemed to always be there...but most of my aircraft are factory painted...otherwise "when" or at what time during its career to do paint it? Half way through? Its last mission? And how accurate do you make the weathering? Weird spending millions only to have an old looking plane that looks like it needs doing up!
    As this is going to be on display for a long time, and many (most) people wont understand the weathering aspect, I agree with full restoration...the girl deserves to look her best.

    [​IMG]

    This is how not to display an old aircraft...
     
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  10. JJWilson

    JJWilson Active Member

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    I think it's great they restored it too it's former and shinier glory, I would love to see it fly of course, but there are 12 other flyable B-17's in the world I can enjoy. Poor Mig-21 sitting out there getting slowly ruined, I can't tell what nationality that Mig is? Is it Syrian?
     
  11. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Dunno...think it may be Indian?
    [​IMG]
    Another dodgy display...
     
  12. JJWilson

    JJWilson Active Member

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    It could be Indian, but I believe the outer layer is red not orange, I may very well be wrong. Nice Mig-15 too.....sitting outside :mad:
     
  13. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Well I cant talk...check out this Mirage III at the Darwin museum!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. JJWilson

    JJWilson Active Member

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    Is that an Israeli or French Mirage, sorry for all the questions CAC, I'm just curious. I completely forgot the RAAF used Mirage's as well, so I'm sure that's what it is.
     
  15. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Mate...that's an Australian Mirage! As usual made right here in Oz.
    Australia cant afford multiple types so we always go the best! This was the best at the time...as usual we flogged them to death and they eventually started falling out of the sky from stress...Sooooo....we sold them to Pakistan! Shhh...

    [​IMG]
    This is an Australian (CAC) Mirage...75th squadron...Magpie(my bird)
    Tasked with protecting northern Australia (Darwin)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018 at 11:47 PM
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  16. JJWilson

    JJWilson Active Member

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    That's alright CAC, the U.S has been selling weapons and vehicles to both Pakistan and India for decades now. Were the rich kid trying to buy friends....
     
  17. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    America and Australia would still be mates even if we were both poor, maybe especially if we were both poor...
     
  18. JJWilson

    JJWilson Active Member

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    I certainly hope that's the case CAC, I also hope we don't become poorer than dirt anytime soon either!
     

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