Rolls-Royce worked closely with Airmail Greeting for weeks to create a very special collector's card in time to gift their VIP guest at this years Reno Air Races, September 10-14 2008. Depicting the graceful B-17 "Liberty Belle" proudly flying at altitude with her P-38 fighter cover near by, this piece was developed to have a warm, authentic feel in efforts to truly pay tribute to her original crew, and salute the efforts of owner and friend of Airmail Greetings, Don Brooks, and chief pilot, Ray "Hollywood" Fowler.
A colorful history,
After completing 64 combat missions with the 390th Bomb Group during WWII, the "Liberty Belle" was sadly sent state-side for scrap. Fate would step in to save her from both the shredder in 1947, and ultimate destruction during a tornado in 1979. In 1947, Liberty Belle was sold to Pratt & Whitney for $2,700. Pratt & Whitney operated the B-17 from November 19, 1947 to 1967 as a heavily modified test bed for their P&W T-34 and T-64 turboprop engines. It became a "5-engine aircraft", having the powerful prototype engine mounted on the nose! The aircraft was flown "single-engine", with all four radial engines feathered during test flights.
Decades later, it would be the son of a B-17 crewman, owner and veteran pilot, Don Brooks, that would bring her back to life after an extensive fifteen year restoration. Today, Don Brooks, and chief pilot, Ray Fowler proudly fly the Liberty Belle on annual tours throughout the US, and for special groups such as Rolls-Royce.
Airmail Greetings salutes these friends and fine men for "sharing aviation's true spirit!".
Learn more about the "Liberty Belle at: WWW.LIBERTYFOUNDATION.ORG