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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/27/2002 6:27:10 AM EDT
MIDDLESBORO, Ky. -- A World War II fighter plane that spent a half-century encapsulated in a glacier in Greenland drew an estimated 20,000 people yesterday to see it fly again. With propellers whirling and 1,275-horsepower twin engines humming, California test pilot Steve Hinton raced the P-38 Lightning down the Middlesboro Airport runway and lifted off for a 30-minute flight.
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rest of story here: [url]http://courier-journal.com/localnews/2002/10/27/ke102702s302389.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 6:36:33 AM EDT
Although the United States built 10,113 of the planes, just 24 survive and only a handful are still flying.
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What a shame to see them go. The P-38 was designed by Kelly Johnson, the same man who gave us our first operational jet fighter, the U-2, and the SR-71 Blackbird. It's a classic.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 7:18:57 AM EDT
COOL! I saw them get the plane out from under the ice about two or 3 years ago on TLC this is the first update for me. I hope they take on the road to air shows ad such.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 7:39:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/27/2002 7:40:59 AM EDT by anothergene]
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 8:15:11 AM EDT
Very Cool! I got a chance to see and examine the nose section at Sun N' Fun in Florida in 1993. The nose was the only part that had been reconstructed so far, but they had a pretty cool exhibit if I remember correctly. The Germans called the P-38 the "Fork Tailed Devil", and my dad was stationed at Santa Ana Army Air Base in Kalifornia in 1942-3 where the pilots that flew the -38 trained. He saw hundreds and hundreds of them. Too bad they're all but gone.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 9:05:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/27/2002 9:07:10 AM EDT by PVFD304]
I saw a B-17 and a B-24 fly overhead this week! I had to do a double take when I looked up. They were at a show about 50 miles from me and were flying to the next event. I later learned that it was the LAST B-24 left flying!
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 9:15:06 AM EDT
The Iceplane Cometh
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 9:26:28 AM EDT
Anyone remember the B-29 that was recovered off a glacier in Alaska? The plane was part of a group that got lost and ran out of fuel. it landed safely but was left where it landed in the 40's completely intact. An expedition spent a huge amount of money and time getting the plane airworthy. It was ready to taxi for take off and caught fire and was a complete loss. Some nit wit on the crew left the auxiliary power unit on after starting the engines, it caused the fire. It was another TLC or Discovery program some years ago.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 9:33:47 AM EDT
Considering the weight of the ice and snow flattened it like a pancake, it's amazing they could restore it at all. That's totally cool.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 9:47:01 AM EDT
The only nitwit was Darryl Greenamyer. He was the one that took the idea forward to recover the Kee Bird, but the way he did it was piss poor. He didn't have the proper funding, he worked his crew to the point of physical harm which contributed to the death of Rick Kriege. On the B-29 the emergency generator had to be on during taxi, take-off and landings in order to supply electrical power and hydraulics. "It might be noted here that the only hydraulic units on the aircraft are the brakes, powered by a small electric motor driving a hydraulic pump. This is the reason for the small auxiliary power unit (APU) being available for taxiing, takeoffs and landings as the aircraft generators fall off line at lower RPMs." (From the CAF's FIFI page) Greenamyer was in such a fricking hurry to get off the ice (due to time, weather conditions and money) that he cut many corners. One of them was his not replacing much of the fuel lines in the aircraft. The "put-put" (gas engine generator name) was shock mounted, meaning that it is allowed to move around on its mounts. The fuel line for the put-put was not replaced. On a fast taxi test before the flight that would have completed the recover of the Kee Bird the fuel line broke and sprayed av-gas onto the (hot and running) put-put and the tail section of the Kee Bird. Another corner he cut was not having enough fire extinguishers on board. Some think Darryl Greenamyer is a hero, I don't. "The ill-fated 3-year attempt to resurrect the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Kee Bird from the ice in northern Greenland where it has rested since its crash-landing in 1947 during a secret reconnaissance mission. Although it remained in fairly good condition, no-one had attempted a salvage operation on the big airplane due to the sheer inaccessibility of the crash site and fiercly inclement weather - until Darryl Greenamyer, that is! After a year of planning, Darryl airlifted a tractor and lots of airplane parts and tools first to the USAF airbase at Thule , then to the site of the B-29 when a sevicable landing strip was scraped out of the ice. Through two years of frustration and miserable weather, his team of mechanics was basically able to re-build the massive bomber in place - including four reconditioned 18-cylinder Wright 3350 radial engines and a full 16-blade set of some of the largest propellers ever built. In the spring of 1995, after a series of setbacks, (including the death of his chief engineer for seven years, Rick Kriege), Darryl had the old bomber rolling on the ice in a fast taxi, minutes away from attempting a take-off when disaster struck. A fuel line to an APU in the tail section had broken loose and sprayed gasoline on the hot APU. A fire broke out which consumed the big plane where it stood on the ice. Now wrecked for good, the Kee Bird would sink to the bottom of the shallow lake in the coming thaw."
Originally Posted By Sukebe: Anyone remember the B-29 that was recovered off a glacier in Alaska? An expedition spent a huge amount of money and time getting the plane airworthy. It was ready to taxi for take off and caught fire and was a complete loss. Some nit wit on the crew left the auxiliary power unit on after starting the engines, it caused the fire.
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Link Posted: 10/27/2002 9:52:02 AM EDT
[url]http://www.thelostsquadron.com[/url] I don't know where the courier-journal got the idea that the planes were squashed as flat as pancakes. I've got a brochure from the place they restored it sitting right here. It shows the plane they recovered siting in the cavern they excavated in the ice. It's banged up but not flattened in any way. The web site is pretty cool. Here's their address. The Lost Squadron P.O. Box 776 Middlesboro, KY 40965 (606) 248-1149
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 10:22:13 AM EDT
I have been following the progress of "The Glaicer Girl" since 1999. I have donated $200.00 for the restorsation. I have also posted about the stupidity of the US State Department and the ATF by them not allowing the ALL ORIGINAL AND STILL FUNCTIONING .50cal and 20mm cannons to be imported into the US until they were de-milled.. The web sites for The Glaicer Girl are at: [url]http://thelostsquadron.com/[/url] [url]http://thelostsquadron.com/museum.html[/url]
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 10:56:26 AM EDT
So Joe, I take it you remember the story? [:O)]
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 11:01:17 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 11:05:34 AM EDT
SinistralRifleman, according to the web site it was the only original full set of guns for the P-38F. Not even the NASM or Wright-Pat have an original complete set of them. Hey, I sent that yellow stock back, it was returned to me on Thursday by the Post Office. I'll have it "in the mail" on Monday.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 11:10:31 AM EDT
When are they going back for the other 3 and the B-17 that was their guideship?
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 11:16:54 AM EDT
soylent_green, Read my post above.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 3:03:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hmanjr: [url]http://www.thelostsquadron.com[/url] I don't know where the courier-journal got the idea that the planes were squashed as flat as pancakes. I've got a brochure from the place they restored it sitting right here. It shows the plane they recovered siting in the cavern they excavated in the ice. It's banged up but not flattened in any way. The web site is pretty cool. Here's their address. The Lost Squadron P.O. Box 776 Middlesboro, KY 40965 (606) 248-1149
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Hmanjr, thanks for the Link, I couldn't remember what it was this morning. I have been there three times, during it's reconstrut. Real nice guy's doing the re-build. Let me stroll around in the work area and get on the scaffolding and get real close looks at it. They have the actual guns there, demilled of course, but according to them, when the guns were brought up, they decided to see if they still worked and they ran fine! Hope I get a chance to see that bird in the sky
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 6:30:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR308and223:
Originally Posted By Hmanjr: [url]http://www.thelostsquadron.com[/url] I don't know where the courier-journal got the idea that the planes were squashed as flat as pancakes. I've got a brochure from the place they restored it sitting right here. It shows the plane they recovered siting in the cavern they excavated in the ice. It's banged up but not flattened in any way. The web site is pretty cool. Here's their address. The Lost Squadron P.O. Box 776 Middlesboro, KY 40965 (606) 248-1149
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Hmanjr, thanks for the Link, I couldn't remember what it was this morning. I have been there three times, during it's reconstrut. Real nice guy's doing the re-build. Let me stroll around in the work area and get on the scaffolding and get real close looks at it. They have the actual guns there, demilled of course, but according to them, when the guns were brought up, they decided to see if they still worked and they ran fine! Hope I get a chance to see that bird in the sky
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Hey 308223, are you from the middlesboro area? I'm about 5 miles south in Harrogate. Just wondering if there was anyone nearby.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 6:55:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By marvl:
Although the United States built 10,113 of the planes, just 24 survive and only a handful are still flying.
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What a shame to see them go. The P-38 was designed by Kelly Johnson, the same man who gave us our first operational jet fighter, the U-2, and the SR-71 Blackbird. It's a classic.
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Agreed. There will never be another man quite like the legendary Kelly Johnson. If you haven't yet, you should read "The Skunk Works" by Ben Rich, Johnson's successor. Very interesting book. Seems Johnson was so well thought of by the military that the last SR-71 to be decomissioned was diverted to overfly Lockheed as a salute to Kelly Johnson. When Ben Rich died, they sent a Stealth Fighter to overfly the funeral.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 6:57:10 PM EDT
Der-Gabelschwanz-Teufel The forked tailed Devil, most maligned, underrated and uncredited aircraft of the war. P-38 deserved better then it got by the public, best American fighter-craft of the second war... Destroeyed more japanese Aircraft then any other, piloted by all of America's top-aces and its High Ace (Richard Ira Bong). Nearly made it to Korea as well, but a few short months before the war an entire squadron was chopped up with hand axes and bulldozed becuase of political pressures which thought the aircraft could "provoke" the North-Koreans.
Link Posted: 10/27/2002 7:46:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/28/2002 3:22:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/28/2002 8:31:03 PM EDT by 321Bang]
Originally Posted By anothergene: Great plane, worth the great effort. Remember the sad story of the B-29 in a similar situation? They were finally running the engines when something tipped over in the fuselage, causing the plane to burn up? That was so sad, after all the work in freezing temperatures, only to watch it burn. I didn't see which model the '38 was, photo or fully gun laden when found?
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Middlesboro is only about 10 minutes from where I live, so I have had the chance of being around Glacier Girl from the time that Roy started the reconstruction. He told me that when she was on the glacier that he and the recovery crew strapped the 20mm to a snowmobile and fired a shot (with the original ammo) at an oil drum and blew it away!! Cool stuff!! The model is a P-38 F, the test pilot flew her like he drove her to work everyday, they must be a very controllable airplane. He only used about half of the runway on takeoff and landing and it's a fairly short runway to begin with. Several people have been critical of him spending so much $$$ on this plane, with people hungry in the world and such. I on the other hand believe it was money well spent on preserving such a tangible piece of history. Seeing/Hearing that bird Sat was chill bump inspiring to be sure! [marines] Edited to add, I guess that should have been flown to work! :-)
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