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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Flying on history

I've written a number of times that I'm a member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, the guys who flew in WWII. This weekend we've brought in three of the surviving WWII bombers (owned by The Collings Foundation ) to Holman Field in St. Paul. Yesterday after they flew in the pilots let me do some minor work on the B-17. At the end of the day, the Chief Pilot Rob Collings put me on the last flight of the day on the B-17. It's my second time flying on the Flying Fortress. I took pictures of my second time flying history.

The B-17 nose canopy with the chin turret and cheek guns

Throttles and flaps

The Norden bomb sight

The bomb bay

"Flying the ball"- the ball turret or belly turret.

The B-24 , nose on. There were more B-24's produced than B-17's. The B-17 received the bulk of the publicity as it preceded the B-24 as America's first four engine heavy bomber. However, the B-24 flew faster and carried a heavier bomb load. Collings B-24 is the only fully operational B-24 flying.
Any how, come out to Holman Field Sunday and Monday. Walk around and see the planes. Talk to the men who flew them in combat. And for the ultimate, take a ride in history ($425 for a half hour flight). $10 and you can go through all three planes (The B-17 Flying Fortress. B-24 Liberator and B-25 Mitchell). You'll be at about 1,500 feet and in a shirt sleeve environment; not 25,000 feet and -50 degrees, breathing through an oxygen mask and wearing a flak helmet and a flask vest... and, of course no one will be trying to kill you.
So, come on out. It is certainly worth the trip. And time very well spent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonderful plane! I'm doing research about the female pilots of WWII, both Russian and American. There are now two films in preprduction about the 'Night Witches'.
However, I am a Progressive...a Liberal.
Why do you want to crush me?
Please explain at the address below. Your website seems thoughtful and well-written. I cannot believe that a man who writes like this would espouse such tactics as "crushing".

2:23 AM  
Anonymous buggs-pal said...

sounds like she likes you X, better soften the crushing tone of your love notes and buy her a nice dinner (to discuss her research of course)... best of luck!

9:36 AM  
Blogger Amendment X said...

Oh lands...oh my...what do I do now? SavageRepublican let me know about the second comment.
First of all, where is the conclusive evidence that tristanshout is female?
And why would tristanshout assume that I'm a man? Of course, I am a man, the complete and total 21st Century Renaissance Man succinctly and splendidly imbued with the modern conceptual version of sprezzatura.
And it would have to be "missionary dating" to save her from herself as a "Progressive" (meaning progrssing towards what exactly? And forcing me to go along?).
A little bit of help: In America, they were called WASPs (Womens Airforce Service Pilots. Here in Minnesota I know three). They have received sparse recognition (when they were killed in service, the government did not provide funeral expenses). A friend of mine who was a B-24 pilot, was told by the base CO that a brand new B-24 was scheduled to come in on a certain afternoon. He and his crew went out to their hardstand and waited. They saw a beautiful, brand new silver B-24 on final approach. Their new plane landed and taxied to the hard stand. As ten men waited, the service door opened and two women got out. My friend and crew waited for a moment then asked " Uh,where's the rest of your crew?" "We're the only ones." "Where did you fly out of? Scotland? Maybe Greenland?" "No. From the United States." Stunned silence. My friend has commented that it took a minimum of five men to crew a B-24 around the British Isles to train. And here two WASP's had flown, navigated, re-fueled a B-24 for a transatlantic flight.
No less a person that Don Nyrop, former CEO of Northwest Airlines commented, twice, at a luncheon where the was a WASP (Elizabeth "Betty" Strohfus- that the WASP's have never received their full recognition for what they did in WWII.
And when there is a political philosophy/ideology that destroys liberty and life and the American culture,I do espouse crushing.
I really do do it for the children.

10:48 AM  

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