SEATTLE, Sept. 17, 2010
--The Museum of Flight will move three iconic airplanes in its collection from their long-time restoration home at Boeing's Plant 2 on Saturday, September 18.
The planes include the Lockheed Constellation Super G, the Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. All of the planes have been undergoing restoration at Plant 2, but are being relocated as Boeing has made plans to demolish the historic airplane fabrication plant.
The 1954 Lockheed Constellation Super G, which arrived at The Museum of Flight's restoration facility at Plant 2 in September of 2009, will be relocated to the museum's Airpark on the east side of East Marginal Way. There, it will be on display, alongside such visitor favorites as the first jet Air Force One, the British Airways Concorde, and the prototype 747.
The B-17F - nicknamed the "Boeing Bee" - originally rolled out of Plant 2 on February 13, 1943, served in the European Theater in WWII, and spent time as a trainer, war memorial, aerial sprayer, fire fighter, tanker and movie star, having appeared in the motion picture Memphis Belle. It became part of the museum's collection in August 1990 and, now fully restored, is currently the only flyable B-17F in the world.
The 1945 B-29, known as T-Square 54, fought in the Pacific during WWII, flying 37 bombing missions with the 875th Bomb Squadron, 498th Bomb Group. It was later converted to an aerial refueling tanker for the Korean Conflict and was loaned to the museum by the National Museum of the United States Air Force in May 1993.
The move of these airplanes is particularly notable as it will be the last time a B-17 will leave the Plant 2 factory, where 6,981 of the war-changing planes were assembled during WWII. During the war, the plant employed as many as 30,000 people to turn out as many as 362 bombers a month.
The building was deemed to be so vital to the World War II manufacturing effort that to foil possible enemy bombing raids the roof was camouflaged with life-size fake trees, houses and streets.