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One heck of a story. I saw the Belle when she was at Mud island in Memphis years ago. She was looking pretty rough back then. I'm glad that she's finally getting restored back to the condition that she deserves. Thanks for sharing.
 

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She was here in Colorado over Memorial Day week along with several other WarBirds. Got to see her and the others fly over the house the morning they left for another show...impressive sight and sound.

As many of you may know the Government cut all funding for the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds. This year would have been the first year since the Academy opened that the graduating class of the Air Force Academy didn't have a flyover. Two warbird groups one from Texas and the other from here in CO volunteered to do the flyover, they raised the funds needed by donation and they flew their WWII WarBirds over the Academy for the graduates.
 

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I took a tour through both a B-17 and a B-24, I just couldn't imagine what it must've been like in one those planes on a mission.

I got a flight in a restored Navy A26B Invader 'ship buster' over Puget Sound a few years ago courtesy of a friend of my father's...I was in one of the waist gun mounts and was hard pressed to keep other aircraft in sight, couldn't imagine if a plane was heading for you and you were trying to shoot back.
This particular plane had entered service in '45 based out of Tinian was credited 14 ship kills, went on to an attack role in both Korea and Vietnam before it was retired. Armed with 4 forward firing 12.7 machine guns and four 20mm cannons, two twin .50 cal machine guns in the waist positions...quite an airplane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
these guys risked their lives flying around in these "tin cans"--last summer, I took a flight in a restored B-17 and can attest to the fact that these planes had no defensive armor; take a look:
Thanks for posting that, appreciated the video.
 

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Several years ago I saw a B17 landing at the Modesto Airport. I headed for the airport to check it out. The plane was Sentimental Journey and the crew was giving rides. Although I could not afford a ride at that time I did take a tour inside the plane on the ground.

Fast forward 20+ years.

Three months ago I read a B17 would be giving rides at Mather Field in Sacramento. I decided I would not let this opportunity slip away and booked a seat. I told the guys on my bowling team about it and they signed up also.

This B17 was built at the end of the war in April 1945 and never saw combat. It was used in the 1990 movie Memphis Belle. It flew across the Atlantic to England for the filming. It still has the Memphis Belle nose art from the movie.

There was 3 crew members and 9 passengers on our 45 minute flight. We had to be seated during takeoff and landing but were free to roam the plane during the flight. The plane itself was well worn with pealing paint and the engines smoked a lot. We were told it burned 200 gallons of fuel and 10 gallons of oil per hour. It was louder than I expected. We were given foam ear plugs but I chose not to use them. The large waist gun windows were open as well as the top of the radio room. To get to the nose I crawled under the pilots seats. Wow. The view from the Plexiglas nose was fantastic.

There are only 10 B17’s still airworthy. I you get a chance to fly in one I highly recommend it. It was well worth the money and was an absolute blast.



























 

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Several years ago I saw a B17 landing at the Modesto Airport. I headed for the airport to check it out. The plane was Sentimental Journey and the crew was giving rides. Although I could not afford a ride at that time I did take a tour inside the plane on the ground.

Fast forward 20+ years.

Three months ago I read a B17 would be giving rides at Mather Field in Sacramento. I decided I would not let this opportunity slip away and booked a seat. I told the guys on my bowling team about it and they signed up also.

This B17 was built at the end of the war in April 1945 and never saw combat. It was used in the 1990 movie Memphis Belle. It flew across the Atlantic to England for the filming. It still has the Memphis Belle nose art from the movie.

There was 3 crew members and 9 passengers on our 45 minute flight. We had to be seated during takeoff and landing but were free to roam the plane during the flight. The plane itself was well worn with pealing paint and the engines smoked a lot. We were told it burned 200 gallons of fuel and 10 gallons of oil per hour. It was louder than I expected. We were given foam ear plugs but I chose not to use them. The large waist gun windows were open as well as the top of the radio room. To get to the nose I crawled under the pilots seats. Wow. The view from the Plexiglas nose was fantastic.

There are only 10 B17’s still airworthy. I you get a chance to fly in one I highly recommend it. It was well worth the money and was an absolute blast.



Like owning a tri-five, flying in a B-17 should be on your bucket list. For those of you in the mid-east/west (MI, PA, OH, TN, NY, NJ), the Yankee Lady B-17 has flights throughout the Summer. More info at: http://www.yankeeairmuseum.org
 
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