If you’ve ever wanted to own a piece of the famed Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, here’s your chance. The Stockton (Calif.) Field Aviation Museum and Vintage Aircraft are offering a B-17 gun turret on eBay and part of the proceeds will go toward the restoration of the museum’s flying 1945 Lockheed PV-2D Harpoon.
Here’s a description of the item from Vintage Aircraft:
The A-1 upper turret was only used on the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress series of aircraft. Of all of the turrets surviving today, the A-1 upper turret is the rarest of the rare. This is the only Sperry upper turret available for sale and they hardly ever become available simply because almost all of them are installed in surviving B-17’s or are in museums. Very few are known to be in private collections.
The coolest part of this turret is the dome and the gun platform which are actually new old stock parts that have been tucked away in the factory that made them in World War II. The olive drab paint on the outside and the Army Bronze Green paint on the inside are the very paint from the day they were made at the factory.
Because this dome is painted olive drab green camouflage it was used on earlier B-17G’s as the later aircraft and turrets were silver or natural aluminum. This turret would have been installed on a B-17 that was painted camoflage with overall olive drab on the top and grey on the bottom.
This turret is extra special because the dome and gun platform are completely original and are not restored. Except for the center panel all of the Plexiglas in the turret dome is also factory original and is just as clear as the day it was made. This is a testament to the fact that this dome has been well protected for almost 70 years. What a truly rare find today. The two Type 6 and one Type I domes that came out of that factory just a few years ago are believed to be the only Sperry top turret domes in existence that retain their original factory paint. One of those domes is for sale here and the other two are in our museum.
The surviving domes, mostly on B-17’s, have all been restored with new glass and paint. This dome and gun platform are true museum pieces as even the WWII paint is not faded. The glass does have scratches and one panel is cracked as can be seen in the photos but the scratches can be polished out should you desire.
To learn more about the museum, click here.
Photo by Vintage Aircraft