B-17 Flying Fortress "Texas Raiders"
The B-17G Texas Raiders is one of the most recognized and famous Flying Fortresses currently on the airshow circuit. It has been recognized by AIR CLASSICS magazine as the best restored B-17G bomber currently flying in the world. The aircraft has been restored to wartime configuration by an entirely volunteer group of dedicated supporters. The aircraft has one of the most unusual histories of any existing Flying Fortresses flying today and is one of the most active and visible.
This aircraft begin it's military career as B-17G-95-DL 44-83872. It was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Corporation at Long Beach, California. (under license from Boeing Aircraft Corporation, Seattle, Washington) where it was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on July 12, 1945. On July 21, 1945, this aircraft was transferred to the U.S. Navy.
The "TR" has undergone two major restorations. The first lasted three years (1983-86) and converted the "cargo" B-17 airframe to a fully restored "combat" B-17G . This restoration was done with volunteer labor and cost in excess of $300,000. In 1993, the second restoration was carried out. The nine month effort was primarily to repaint the aircraft and complete the interior restoration of the bomber. Costs of the restoration was $180,000. This restoration was documented by Public Television and the documentary "Honor Squadron" was produced. At the conclusion to the restoration, the aircraft returned to the airshow circuit where it was awarded "Best Bomber" by the Experimental Aircraft Association's Sun and Fun Air Show and "Aircraft of the Year" by the Tico airshow in Florida.