Operation: Western, Central
and Eastern USA
Wing Span: 103' 9"
Length: 74' 4"
Height: 19' 2"
Max Speed: 287 mph
Gross Weight: 65,500 lbs
Power Plant: 4 x Wright R-1820-97
Horsepower: 4 x 1,200
Fuel Capacity: 2,780 gallons
Armament: Thirteen 50-caliber
machine-guns plus a maximum of 17,600 lb (7,983
kg) of bombs. Normal bomb load 6,000 lbs (2,724
kg). Largest bomb type carried was 2,000 lb (908
MARC's Boeing B-17G "The Movie Memphis Belle"
The Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation (MARC)
is the owner and operator of this Boeing B-17G
Flying Fortress "The Movie Memphis Belle" (USAAF s/n 44-83546), which is available for airshows,
flybys and film throughout the USA.
The Flying Fortress was designed for a USAAC
competition, announced in 1934, to find a modern
replacement for the assorted Keystone biplane bombers,
then in service. Since funding was lacking at the time,
only thirty Flying Fortresses were fully operational
when Hitler's forces invaded Poland in September 1939.
The US was not involved in the fighting in Europe at the
time, so it did not seem to be a matter of urgency.
However, as it became clearer that US involvement was
inevitable, after the Munich Crisis, orders for B-17s
The Pearl Harbor attack of December 7, 1941 finally
brought the United States into the war and production of
the B-17 rapidly increased. By July 1942, the US began
forming the Eighth Air Force in Britain, equipped with
B-17Es. The 'E' represented an important improvement
over the earlier B-17s, in that it had a tail turret,
eliminating a previous defensive blind spot. Production
of the B-17F was undertaken by Douglas and Vega, a
subsidiary of the Lockheed Aircraft Corp., but
modifications were taking their toll in airspeed. There
were more than four hundred modifications on the B-17F.
The B-17F lacked adequate defense against a head-on
attack. By September 1943, the Flying Fortress showed
its final shape during firepower tests on the XB-40, a
modified B-17F with the advantage of a "chin" turret.
The success of the chin turret, led to the delivery of
the B-17G (the major production version), which was the
first production variant to have a chin turret
installed, under the nose. The Bendix turret held two
.50-cal. guns, which increased the armament to thirteen
guns. In all, there were 8,680 B-17Gs built by Boeing,
Vega, and Douglas to make this the largest production
variation. Produced in greater numbers than any other
single model, more B-17Gs were lost, than any other
On 19 July 1943, US B-17s and B-24 Liberators carried
out the first bombing raid on Rome. US bombing in Europe
reached its high point in February 1945 with a
1,000-bomber raid on Berlin,
escorted by 400 fighters, and the Dresden raid
(alongside RAF Lancasters) which, caused a massive fire
storm to sweep the city. Meanwhile, B-17s were also
helping to win the war against Japan, although by
mid-1943 the larger Boeing B-29 had begun to take over
the major strategic bombing missions in the Pacific
B-17G 44-83546 was accepted by the USAAF at Long
Beach on April 3, 1945 and went to Topeka, Kansas for
modifications before going to Lubbock, Texas for
short-term storage. It was then moved to Patterson
Field, Ohio for storage and then was converted to a
CB-17G (transport conversion) and assigned to Air
Transport Command at San Francisco. 44-83546 was then
assigned to Washington, DC and then to Germany. In 1948
it was redesignated a VB-17G (staff transport) and then
assigned to Andrews AFB, followed by Offutt AFB and then
to Japan during the Korean War.
In 1954, 44-83546 was placed in storage at Davis-Monthan
AFB and then was released for disposal in April 1959.
44-83546 was purchased by National Metals Co. of
Phoenix, Arizona and then sold to Fast Way Air of Long
Beach, California. 44-83546 became N3703G on the US
civil register. In 1960 she was converted to a water
bomber and operated as Tanker 78. In 1978
44-83546/N3703G was sold to TBM Inc. of Tulare,
California who continued to operate her as a tanker
until the late 1970s. 44-83546/N3703G was purchased by
the Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation (MARC) in
1982 and was restored to resemble a B-17F. In 1989, she
crossed the Atlantic with another B-17 to participate in
the filming of the movie Memphis Belle in
England. Since returning, 44-83546/N3703G has worn the
"Memphis Belle" markings and nose art.
The original "Memphis Belle" is B-17F-10-BO 41-24485
and is under restoration at the National Museum of the
United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The Memphis
Belle was the first B-17 to complete 25 combat missions
and return to the US to help sell war bonds. She was
assigned to the 91st Bomb Group, 324th Bomb Squadron and
was based at Bassingbourn, England.
Office: (909) 923-3350
Cell: (714) 602-0937
Please fill out your contact information
below if you are interested in contacting
the operator, or representative,
of this Warbird and you require more information for booking this
aircraft at your Airshow