Jack Bally Started the project some 14 years ago (his 4th homebuilt airplane). The 1/3 scale replica of a B-17 is unlike anything I have seen from the home-built replica community. At first glance it exists somewhere between that 1:5 scale RC B-29 (YouTube) and a multi-engine Sonex.
Like the 1:5 scale B-29, Jack's passion for the Flying Fortress is obvious through the details that make this a replica. The gun turrets are built with amazing attention to detail, each needing to be blown custom. The mufflers are built to look like the turbo chargers on the original for the added realness.
The cockpit is really what brought the whole thing into focus for me. The pilot sits in a comfortable reclined seating postion. His eyes level with those of the pilots in the full scale version and his rudder pedals taking the place of the Norden Bombsight up in the nose plexi. Therefore looking through the nose turret one can clearly picture himself comfortable seated gripping Bally's period correct yoke, on a mission deep into occupied france, for a cheeseburger.
Jack estimates the current weight of the airplane at 1200 pounds. He compares the airplane to that of a Cessna 150. Jack has derated the Hirth powerplants to 60 hp per station. Imagine your local flight school's 150 with 240 hp. The airplane will have retractable landing gear and flaps all hydraulic.
Jack pointed out several times that there was still a lot of work left to do on the airplane. Most of that remaining work appears to be systems related. Specifically engine plumbing and instrumentation, hydraulics, electrical, and flight controls. Jack is an old school DIYer, he built his house, his hangar, his shop, and even some of the tools in his shop. This kind of thing is awesome to see, a guy who is comfortable learning a new skill in order to make coolest thing he can think of.
What are you working on tonight?
|Engine cowling. The box on top is Carb Heat.|
|Reclined like your Lazy-Boy|
|Seat raises to aid egress|
|Cockpit as viewed from the (non functional) rear seat.|
|Cockpit looking aft through nose turret|
|Throttle quadrant and roll u-joints|
|Roll bell crank|
|Pitch cables, on the right side of the cockpit|
|Retractable main gear, Piper parts|
|Inside the gear well, fwd is left|
|Belly turret and flap detail.|
|More flap detail|
|Tail gunner detail|
|Rudder and elevator trim tabs|
|Vertical tail, and Jenn|