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Part of Erickson collection at Madras airport

by: JEFF WILSON - The name and nose art on Erickson's B-17 at the Madras Municipal Airport will be changed from 'Chuckie' to 'Madras Maiden.'The well-known World War II B-17 bomber "Chuckie" will get a new name and paint job this summer.

The aircraft, a pathfinder built near the end of the war, will be named the "Madras Maiden," thanks to the efforts of Mike Oliver, manager of the Tillamook Air Museum, which is in the process of moving to Madras, and photographer Lyle Jansma.

"Basically, the photographer we use, Lyle Jansma, came up with the concept and design and presented it to me," said Oliver. "I thought it was the right time to switch the name. I presented it to the owner, who agreed it was the right time."

Oliver said that they are working on an actual logo, which will be painted on the plane by well-known aircraft artist Gary Velasco, who will travel to Madras in June to paint the aircraft.

When the nose art is finished, Oliver said, the plan is to unveil it during the weekend that the city of Madras' air veterans war memorial is unveiled, the week of the Airshow of the Cascades in late August.

Madras Mayor Melanie Widmer said that the both the city and the county will donate $2,500 to the project. "I think it's fantastic," she said. "It's a cool and unique opportunity."

Since the B-17 is one of only 12 remaining in the U.S. that are airworthy, Widmer said, "It should definitely boost our name recognition continent-wide."

Oliver agreed, noting, "We're basically advertising Madras when we're flying at different air shows." Erickson plans to reopen the museum in Madras sometime after the August air show.

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