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Old 09-12-2006, 12:52 PM   #1
JoyJoy
 
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Default Fly the Fortress

A flyer came across my desk today that I thought might interest someone here...they're selling flights on the "historic B-17 Flying Fortress"


(This is the plane that "Rosie the Riveter" had a hand in building during the war.)

The brochure says they're doing it to "educate the people of America about our courageous World War II verterans, and to honor and remember those who never made it home."

The website says "This aircraft is an example of the American heavy bomber that helped turn the tide of battle in World War II. Fly a mission back in time and feel the might of this magnificent aircraft, just as those brave young men did more than 50 years ago."

The flights are expensive at $399-$425 per person for non-EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) members, but for those with money to burn, it sounds like quite an adventure.
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Old 09-12-2006, 05:42 PM   #2
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Hi, Joy.

I've done this. My father was a pilot of B-17's in WWII, so I've been around these planes many times. I looked for a picture to post here of my dad and his crew by one and couldn't find it.

The flights are expensive because the owners use the money to restore and maintain these "ships" and that's not a cheap proposition. Most of them are owned by private individuals together who form a private organization for the comraderie of restoring and flying these beautiful airplanes. I don't remember how many are out there actually flying but the number is low, considering how many were manufactured and flew in WWII. The last time my dad flew in one of these, the pilot was 80.

It's a cool thing to do if you can afford it.
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Old 09-12-2006, 05:46 PM   #3
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That's a sixty-year old plane.

Most cities replace their bus fleets after five to eight years.

I'll just take pictures from the ground.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:48 AM   #4
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I can respect that, FreeThinker, but it does say that the plane has been restored, and I'd be willing to bet they have insurance which would require a good measure of safety assurances.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:52 AM   #5
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My dad used to restore helicopters and airplanes back to their brand new flying days. He would oversee the Airframe repair and evaluations (he'd come home with tales from repair logs about bullet holes, bird damage etc...), rewire the airplane's electrical parts to current standards, and sign off the airplane for its test flights. If everything checked out according to his standards, I'd be up in the plane without thinking twice
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:51 PM   #6
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Back in the early 90s, on a trip with a couple of cousins, early one Sunday morning we spotted a B-17 parked at a small air strip. We decided to check it out. It turned out the plane was the one used in the movie Memphis Belle. The plane had been restored...but not to modern standards...to look inside and out how the Memphis Belle would have looked back in 1946 when when it was flying real missions...down to the strewn about ammo cases and spent shells inside. I'd always been a fan of the old war movies, but none of them made the reality of what those airmen back then did hit home like the first glimpse inside that plane. The reality was breathtaking.

If I could afford and was physically able I'd sign up for one of those flights in a heart beat. I already regret missed opportunities to fly in one of the old Ford TriMotor "Tin Goose".
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:44 PM   #7
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But even the flyable ones are vanishing fast. The last flyable Heinkel He 111recently crashed in Wyoming killing both the CAF pilot and CAF co-pilot.

A recent storm here in Utah totaled a P-51. *shudder*

I'm seriously considering that B-17 flight.
(A relative of my mother passed away a few years ago, who served on a B-17 flight crew as their ball-turrent gunner.)
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