The rare B-17 Flying Fortress, dubbed “Nine-O-Nine” has crashed, according to local news sources in Connecticut.
B-17G #44-83575, known as “Nine-O-Nine” and painted in the namesake as B-17G #42-31909 that served honorably in World War II, reportedly crashed at the Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks.
The airport was closed following the crash, and three individuals were rushed to the hospital, with one being transported by helicopter.
According to WFSB, the aircraft was owned by the Collings Foundation, which restores and flies old warbirds as living history displays.
While not the original “Nine-O-Nine” (which was scrapped after World War II without a second thought), the B-17G was built during World War II and was painted to represent the original, which flew over 140 missions and made 8 bombing raids on Berlin.
By the time the war ended, “Nine-O-Nine” was airborne for 1,129 hours and dropped 562,000 pounds of bombs. She is believed to have held an Eighth Air Force record for most missions without loss to the crews that flew her.
The Collings Foundation variant, #44-83575, flew air-sea rescue missions during the late stages of World War II, and subjected to the effects of three different nuclear explosions. Following 13 years of time to allow the aircraft to be safe for sale as scrap, she was sold to a group willing to restore her.
Following restoration, #44-83575 served as a wildlife fire bomber for two decades before being sold to the Collings Foundation.
After being painted in the livery of her namesake, the second “Nine-O-Nine” had crashed in 1987 and in 1995- though this latest crash may be her last.
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