On Monday afternoon, November 19th the Greenfields Fire Company was dispatched to the Reading Regional Airport for an unusual mission. Its mission was to fill the ballast tanks in the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation’s Boeing C-97.
Upon arrival the crew was introduced to the world’s only flyable Boeing C-97, “The Angle of Deliverance”. This aircraft was the only C-97 used in the Berlin Airlift in 1949. Its restoration took 17 years. Upon completion it was flown to the Reading Regional Airport on November 7, 2017 to be displayed during the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s 2018 World War II weekend.
The aircraft’s tenure at the Air Museum is now over and it will be departing on Tuesday, November 20th. Without cargo the C-97 is nose heavy. In order to compensate for this imbalance, the C-97 has two ballast tanks in its tail which hold 132 gallons of water each, for a total weight of approximately 2200 pounds. The problem was that there was no convenient supply of water nearby to fill these tanks. Here’s where the GFC and E55 come in. E55 carries 750 gallons of water, more than enough to do the job. Using its booster reel, E55 was able to fill the tanks and the”Angle of Deliverance” can now fly to its next assignment.
For more inform about the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation go to: http://www.spiritoffreedom.org
Responding for the GFC were:
Deputy Chief Terry Royce
Assistant Chief Eric Thrush
FF Wayne Henry
Photographer Steve Spies