In response to some comments in the US following an update from the Yankee Air Museum, Elly Sallingboe has issued the following statement regarding the future of Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress ‘Sally-B’ which is based in the UK at Duxford.

Many of you will have heard the rumours about the impending FAA mandatory Airworthiness Directive (AD) on the wing spar issues on all airworthy B-17s.

While we are aware of the wing spar issues – and concerned that the FAA could issue an Emergency Airworthiness Directive, which would affect us all – we will not speculate but wait until the EAD is issued.

In the meantime, our Chief Engineer, Daryl Taplin, is in contact with the FAA, the CAA, and some US B-17 Operators via the B-17 Co-op.

As I write this, we hope that the 2023 season will go ahead as planned. Sally B will leave the hangar at Duxford by the middle of May for engine ground runs followed by test flying and crew training a few weeks later. Her first display is on the 27 May, followed by our tribute to the many at the American Military Cemetery, Madingley on Memorial Day.

The wing spar and the spar caps have been the subject of earlier AD’s for more than twenty years. Each winter, our engineers complete a comprehensive CAA-approved check with the help of NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) specialist Kearsley Airways.

Also, our pilots have flown Sally B very gently, with low G loads for many decades.

We trust that our B-17 is structurally sound and can hopefully fly for many more years.

Elly Sallingboe
Aircraft Operator & Chairman of Trustees