Jack Bally From Dixon Builds A B-17 (scaled) Bomber

Jack Bally From Dixon Build A B-17 Bomber

His work began almost 13 years ago and he is now hoping he will be able to fly his version of B-17 G bomber in the next two years.

The Bally Bomber measures 25 feet and it has a 34-foot wingspan. Jack said that there is only one part of the plane that is not working at the moment – the guns. All the pieces of the plane have been handmade from some one-ninth-scale prints he had to enlarge.

Jack was able to obtain the prints for $62, on January 9, 1999 and they were some of the highest-rated prints he could find at the time.

The former carpenter has already build three other planes, this being the fourth one. The already built ones are an ultralight Sky Pup, a Kitfox Model 3, and a Georgia Special, together with some smaller and larger versions of B-17 G.

Although the plane looks like it is ready to take off, there is a lot of work left for Jack Bally to do before he will be able to fly his creation. He now has to give a good shot for the hydraulics, gas lines, fuel pumps, all wiring and electrical, and instruments.

The landing gear, he said, was initially made for a different version of the plane but he managed to get the parts to fit his aircraft. Only the engines and propellers costed Jack $35,000, however, he doesn’t know how much money he has already invested in the B-17 so far, the Canton Daily Ledger.com reports.

Jack had to build the engines himself to make sure the propeller blades weren’t too far forward but just behind the nose window. He knew he had to keep everything to scale and the inside wing propellers were the most difficult ones to install.

Although he has been working on the B-17 bomber for over 13 years and spent over 27,000 hours hand-making every little piece, he said he is in now rush to finish the job. Asked when his creation would be ready, Jack said it would probably take another 2 years but he doesn’t really care about deadlines. “It’ll happen when it gets there,” he said.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE