May 17, 2018 - Jack Bally, EAA 348338, and test pilot Richard Kosi, EAA 666459, have announced their plans to bring Jack’s remarkable 1/3-scale B-17, named Obsession, but best known as the Bally Bomber, to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018.
Jack, who worked for decades as a carpenter, started on the project in 1999, working from a set of plans for a 1/9-scale RC model. After scaling up the plans, he started toiling away at his home in Dixon, Illinois, estimating that the project would be finished in about five years.
Seventeen years, 25,000 rivets, and approximately 40,000 man-hours later, the airplane made its first flight in November of 2016. As that flight was unintentional — an unexpected gust turned it from a taxi test to a takeoff — the video that was shot that day doesn’t actually show the airplane in the air, a fact that proved especially tantalizing to the thousands of enthusiasts who’d been watching the project for years. With the airplane on display at AirVenture, thousands of followers will finally get the chance to see it in person.
“The Bally Bomber embodies the spirit of homebuilt innovation and creativity,” said
Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “Just like so many other EAAers, I’m really excited to see it firsthand.”
The Bally Bomber is expected to be on display all week, alternating between Boeing Plaza and the Replica Fighters Association, with exact details to be announced.