WW2 B-17 bomber erupts into flames

‘Seven passengers miraculously survived after this World War 2 bomber turned into a mid-air fireball. The B-17 Flying Fortress caught fire and crash-landed in a field near Aurora, Illinois, shortly after take-off.’

- The Sun (14th June 2011)

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3 comments to WW2 B-17 bomber erupts into flames

  • Lisa

    Incredibly bad news. (Although it’s a miracle that everyone survived!) There are so few remaining B-17s that are actually airworthy. The Collins Foundation maintains both a B-17 and a B-24 and I am sooo looking forward to seeing them this summer. There is nothing as thrilling to me as the sound of “heavies” thrumming on the horizon. (Unless it’s the sound of a couple of Spitfires). Please support your local airshow and “keep ‘em flying”!

  • Daniel Latinus

    According to reports in the Chicago Tribune, the plane did not cash, but was successfully landed by the pilot before it burned.


  • Brian

    Like Daniel pointed out - it really is worth a read on the foundations website to get the TRUE story of what happened. To sum up: Shortly after takeoff the crew smelled something burning and turned back to the airport. Flames became visible from the outboard engine so the pilot elected to land in a field (something the plane was designed to do) instead of continuing to the airport. The plane landed, the crew and passengers exited the aircraft, and the crew had time to reenter the aircraft and remove some items. The fire department was dispatched but could not reach the aircraft due to the field being too soft following recent rains. By this point the fire had spread to the fuel cells and you can see the rest. Sorry to disappoint - no explosion, fireballs, or “eruptions”.

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