Don't call her frigid.
October 28, 2002 6:03 AM   Subscribe

Don't call her frigid. After ten years and almost four millions dollars, Glacier Girl, a P-38F ditched on the ice of Greenland, flies again in Middlesboro, Kentucky. While the restoration and recovery of any old craft is interesting, Glacier Girl was pulled out from under almost 270 feet of ice. Her story, in words and pictures. (and oddball html.)
posted by eriko (6 comments total)
Very cool links. Thank you
posted by davebushe at 6:27 AM on October 28, 2002

What's particularly interesting is the way the "Lost Squadron" has been adopted by some fringe groups to prove Genesis or disprove global warming.
posted by SealWyf at 6:41 AM on October 28, 2002

I love this kind of stuff. Glad to hear though that this project worked out.

The recovery efforts are just amazing. Just the sheer logistics of finding the aircraft, not to mention boaring down and the lifting of the parts is stunning. Great stuff.

On a related note, a while back there was a documentary about the recovery efforts of a B-29 Superfortress from Greenland, not unlike the place they pulled this one from. This plane was not buried like the Glacier Gal, but on the surface. Every year the snow and ice would melt and reveal the aircraft. A team went up there a few years and restored the aircraft in an attempt to actually fly it out of there. They got to the point where they were ready to take off when a fire broke out and destroyed the plane. Now they are focusing on recovery of parts.

While some may argue about preserving artifacts of war such as the Enola Gay, at the same time aircraft such as these proved the necessary technology for modern aircraft such as the airliners we use to travel every day. (Actually, the arguments were not about restoring the Enola Gay, but the display of it at the Smithsonian)

Another interesting side note to this Glacier Gal thread is the Airplane Graveyard.
posted by lampshade at 7:42 AM on October 28, 2002

I don't know which is more amazing -- that they recovered the aircraft from under so much ice or that they restored her to flyable condition.

The P-38 was an incredible aircraft in its day -- a pursuit aircraft optimized for long-range, high-altitude interception. Its twin-boom design meant a rugged airframe with a great deal of stability, yet it was quite manuverable for its size as well as fast and heavily armed. Thanks to an intelligence coup, P-38s figured in the downing of Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto in a surprise attack, returning a similar courtesy extended a year and a half previously in Hawaii. (C'est la guerre.)
posted by alumshubby at 9:02 AM on October 28, 2002

Also of related interest, perhaps: a couple of aviation archeology sites.
posted by taz at 9:50 AM on October 28, 2002

This is indeed an amazing story. I interviewed project manager Bob Cardin earlier this year for an article in American History magazine, and he told me, "Right from the start, our intent was to recover the aircraft and make it fly." Nice to hear they did it. (My article doesn't seem to be anywhere online, but if you use libraries as well as the Internet, it's page 12 of the April 2002 issue.)
posted by LeLiLo at 10:43 AM on October 28, 2002

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