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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 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  

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