Film star wins role at Scampton Airshow

One of the best-loved warbirds on the UK airshow circuit, and a star of many films including Memphis Belle, will play a leading role in the inaugural Scampton Airshow which takes place at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire on September 9-10.


Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Sally B, Europe’s sole airworthy example of this famous Second World War bomber, though a familiar sight in the Lincolnshire skies during the conflict, will take part in the flying programme, alongside another legendary US fighter aircraft - the P-40 Kittyhawk.


The announcement of Sally B comes as ticket sales for the Airshow, which will feature more than 100 aircraft over the weekend, continue to boom with just two months to go. Visitors will have the chance to experience a five-hour flying display, as well as a rare opportunity to visit an RAF Station steeped in history. RAF Scampton was a key base in WW1 and WW2 and home to the famous 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron, as well as playing an important role throughout the Cold War. Today, RAF Scampton is known as the home of the world-famous Red Arrows.


Sally B acts as a flying memorial to the tens of thousands of Allied airmen who lost their lives in the European theatre during World War Two, and in particular those of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces who flew from British soil, including Lincolnshire, between 1942 and 1945. It has been operated in private hands since it first arrived in the UK in 1975, a unique record for a heavy four-engined bomber. B-17 Preservation, under the leadership of Elly Sallingboe, has - with the assistance provided by the members of the Sally B Supporters’ Club - ensured that this aeroplane’s vital commemorative work goes on. Given the expense involved in keeping such an aircraft flying, this is no small task.


The legend of the B-17 in US Army Air Force service was forged in the European theatre, where the aircraft started carrying out missions during 1942. Conducting hazardous daylight bombing raids over occupied Europe, losses to enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire were heavy, even with the provision of better escort fighters and the legendarily tough airframe of the Flying Fortress, but as the Allies gained air superiority things started to improve. The B-17’s contribution to Allied success cannot be underestimated. At the Scampton Airshow, Sally B - a B-17G model, built in 1945 - will recall that, as well as the type’s use post-war in second-line roles with the newly formed US Air Force.

Paul Sall, Scampton Airshow Director, said: “We’re delighted to announce such a popular aircraft for our inaugural show - adding to the very strong line-up already announced for Scampton Airshow.


“The addition of the Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress marks an opportunity for visitors to see the last remaining airworthy B-17 in Europe from one of the most important eras in aircraft history.”


Scampton Airshow tickets can only be purchased in advance at Tickets are priced at £39 with all under 16s able to enjoy the airshow free when accompanied by an adult ticket-holder.