Dixon Man Builds B-17 Bomber Replica


DIXON (WIFR) -- A Dixon man is recreating history... one sheet of metal at a time. And after nearly 15 years, his handmade WWII replica is starting to take shape.

"I've had a lot of fun. Kept me out of a lot of trouble," said Jack Bally, Dixon resident. "I guess you can call it a hobby."

Jack Bally has spent more than a decade working on his own little piece of history. This WWII B-17 bomber is only one-
third the size of an original.

"It's the only one in the world," Bally said."Nobody else has done it. It's a lot more work than I thought."

Bally started building the flying fortress in January 1999. That's almost 15 years ago now. The Dixon native says while he's almost done, it'll still take him probably two years to wrap up this project -- a project he takes a lot of pride in.

"I had 10-12 actual bomber pilots from WWII here," Bally said. "All of them seem to like it. A lot of them want to fly it and most of them are in their 90's."

Bally says after putting so much time into making sure his plane is as detailed as can be, he'll probably never take it into the air himself.

"I was going to fly it, but I'll probably won't ever do that," Bally said. "Somebody else will be flying it. You ever test fly an airplane? It's scary, man. You get out of them shaking on that first flight (since) you don't know where the kinks are at."


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