A B-17 bomber built during World War II crashed today and was completely destroyed by a post-crash fire. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Unfortunately, the 67-year-old airplane, restored to flying condition just a few years ago, was a total loss:
The B-17, christened the "Liberty Belle," took off from the airport at 9:30 a.m. and made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Highway 71 and Minkler Road in Oswego after the pilot reported an engine fire, according to Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkle. Witnesses said he set the plane down between a tower and a line of trees.
One person on the plane was treated at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora and released, hospital spokeswoman Courtney Satlak said.
The plane was one of the world's last surviving WWII bombers. The article had more on its history:
The plane that crashed was manufactured in 1944. It was sold on June 25, 1947 as scrap to Esperado Mining Co. of Altus, Okla. and was sold again later that year to Pratt & Whitney for $2,700, according to the foundation's website.
Whitney operated the B-17 from Nov. 19, 1947 to 1967 to test turboprop engines. It was donated in the late 1960s to the Connecticut Aeronautical Historic Association in East Hartford, but was heavily damaged in 1979 when a tornado threw another aircraft against the B-17’s mid-section, breaking the fuselage, the foundation said.