B-17 flight to Rantoul delayed

The arrival of a World War II-era bomber due to fly into Rantoul Friday afternnon has been delayed, possibly until Saturday. The B-17 bomber Texas Raiders was scheduled to fly into the Rantoul airport Friday afternoon and will stay through Tuesday. But mechanical problems have caused a delay.

Sandy Thompson, public information specialist for Texas Raiders, said mechanics are having trouble with a "magneto drop" on engines No. 3 and 4 on the four-engine plane.

"It's not a serious problem, but it's an aggravating problem at this time," said Thompson.

The Flying Fortress has been in Branson, Mo., this week and was due to fly to Rantoul Friday.

Initially, officials thought the problem might have been caused by the magnetos getting wet due to heavy rains that hit the Branson area Thursday, Thompson said.

"They tried to dry them off, but that didn't do any good," she said.

Thompson said flight regulations do not allow the plane to take off or land after nightfall. Thompson said late Friday afternoon that it appeared the plane would not be arriving in Rantoul until possibly Saturday.

The plane is to be available for rides and tours Saturday through Tuesday, July 28-31. Thompson said the start time Saturday might be delayed. More information is available from Chanute Air Museum at 893-1613.

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