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Old 12-04-2011, 11:05 PM   #1
Kman
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B17 Fortress

A company out of Wisconsin owns this B17 bomber from 1945. They tour the U.S. and come by a local airport every year or two. This was the first year I got to go out and see it up close and personal. This particular plane never saw any action since it was manufactured in May 1945, but it's armed and set up pretty much like it would have been during the war.

I won't go into a lot of detail about the plane since all the information is available on the internet....but I could.

I'll just post a few pics for those who are interested.

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Old 12-04-2011, 11:08 PM   #2
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A few more pics....


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Old 12-05-2011, 10:09 AM   #3
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As a kid, I toured one of those plans when they were in town. I want to say they were part of the Confederate Air Force (now called the Commerative Air Force). They flew in with the B-17, B-24 and a P-51 Mustang. Truly a marvelous piece of equipment. I noticed in your pictures that they added a piece of plexiglass around the guns on the side of the fuselage. I think originally they were open air. The plans were not pressurized and all crew members wore oxygen mask.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:44 PM   #4
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This one is owned by Experimental Aircraft Association. I don't know what others they might have. They offered rides for $450, although the weather yesterday didn't permit it.

I don't know about the plexiglass cover during wartimes, you may be right, although that would be a heckuva windy ride at 30K feet. I imagine they would have to have the plexiglass for liability purposes since they are offering rides.

During the war, the crew wore suits that could be plugged into the plane's electrical system for heat, and you're right, the first bomber that was pressurized was the B29 that came out during the war.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
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Must be the same one I saw flying over pretty low in our area a month ago.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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There's one of these at the Lone Star Flight Museum down in Galveston, TX. Saw it a couple of years ago. Beautiful planes...
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kman
A company out of Wisconsin owns this B17 bomber from 1945
Not so much "company" as "Non-profit organization", that was the Experimental Aircraft Association, now simply the EAA, located Oshkosh, WI 54902
where they hold the annual Airventure week usually late July (to be 23-29 July 2012)
See http://www.eaa.org/ then under "programs" click "B17" for:
This aircraft is the Aluminum Overcast, one of fewer than a dozen still flying. see http://www.b17.org/
shows the tail end of the 2011 tour schedule which Kman, you probably saw at Fayetteville.
It was then at North Little Rock on Tuesday and yesterday, and going to Olive Branch, MS tomorrow for the last stop of 2011
Some of the other operators include
http://www.commemorativeairforce.org/
http://yankeeairmuseum.org/b17_flying_fortress.php
http://libertyfoundation.org/index.html lost the Liberty Belle to fire after an emergency landing in northern Illinois last June
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:52 PM   #8
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They may be "non-profit", but they certainly made money off of me that day.

It was money well spent, though. I bought a couple of t-shirts, couple of hats, a laminated poster, and a model of the B17 for my desk.

If I could have afforded the flight, I would have done that as well. The flight jacket they offer is another $185, but you have to book a flight to be able to buy the jacket.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:06 PM   #9
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We now call what used to be the Confederate Air Force the Texas Air Force, even though it is officially the Commemorative Air Force.

Mud Maker and Fredia took Patti and me to the flight museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton a few years ago. They've got a B-17 and a B-29 as well as many many other historic planes there, all in fine condition.

It's free.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:13 PM   #10
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My father flew 35 missions over Germany as a bombardier in a B-17. RIP dad.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:21 PM   #11
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A little off topic, but funny:

The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot.
They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there
without any assistance from
them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following
exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747,
call sign Speedbird 206.

Speedbird 206: " Frankfurt , Speedbird 206 clear of active runway."

Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."

The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.

Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"

Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."

Ground (with quite arrogant impatience):

"Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"

Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, -- and I didn't land."
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:09 PM   #12
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My Dad was on his sixth mission as a top turret gunner on a B-17 when the aircraft was hit by flack over Belgium. Only my Dad and two others survived. Dad was literally blown out of the turret but managed to open his parachute before becoming unconscious without oxygen at the high altitude. He suffered 3rd. degree burns on his head and forehead, broke both ankles landing while still unconscious and hurt a testicle so bad it became grossly swollen. The good news is he was given good medical care!!. They gave him several skin grafts, set and pinned his ankles and removed the crushed testicle. If they had not done a good job in the reproductive area I would not typing this!!! He then spent 14mos. in prison camp and said they were treated relatively well although he weighed only 112 lbs. when the camp was liberated.

Several years before Pop's passing in 2007 there was a show nearby and featured a B-17. My Pop never talked about the war but I asked him if he would like to go see it and surprisingly he said yes. He was 81 at the time and of sound mind and got around well so off we went. I have never seen my Dad openly weep but after the tour and back in the car he did. Me too.
He finally opened up a bit and told me what I wrote in the paragraph above.

Well, that's my B-17 story and a little about a guy that flew in one.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:29 PM   #13
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Richard, if you haven't already, go to wwiimemorial.com and enter your father's name into the registry.
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:55 PM   #14
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I have nothing but respect for the men that flew those missions over Europe in the early 40's. The attrition rate was staggering, particularly among the 8th Air Force. Just to know that the odds were against them with each additional mission they flew had to have a severe psychological effect on them.

My father was a co-pilot on a bomber. The best I can figure he flew a Liberator. He received his orders for his first mission the day before peace was declared. I don't know if it was VE day or VJ day. Needless to say, he wasn't too disappointed.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:19 PM   #15
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Oh, I'm very interested. Truly amazing!
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