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The “Lady of the Lake” is what remains of a B-29 weather reconnaissance aircraft that rests in the middle of an Alaskan lake near Eielson Air Force Base.

The aircraft formerly belonging to Eielson's 58th WRS. In 1957, many of the B-29s were replaced by B-50s, a larger version of the B-29. Although the two airplane models looked alike, most parts were not interchangeable. After World War II, many B-29s were stripped of all their useful parts, so that they could be recycled as production of new parts were stopped. By the time the B-50s arrived, parts cannibalization on B-29s was standard practice, just to keep the remaining planes of the fleet flying.

The “Lady of the Lake” was one such unfortunate aircraft. With all the useful parts removed, and with no chance of replacement, the plane was removed from the active aircraft inventory. At that time, almost all of the flights originating out of Eielson AFB were reconnaissance flights traveling over open water, either over the Arctic Ocean, or the North Pacific Ocean. It was decided that the grounded B-29 be used for open water extraction practice.

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© Amusing Planet, 2013.


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