Last summer, about Fourth of July or so, we had a B-17 in town. Dunno why, maybe for an airshow. I was downtown on a work errand and heard round engines. I looked up and saw this beautiful, natural aluminum B-17 flying overhead. Then, the next day at home, I hear round engines. I thought it was only the local T-6 bunch flying formation. No, it was the same B-17! The day after that, same round engine sound. Same B-17! All in all, it was terrific! The only other time I had seen B-17s in flight was at a CAF airshow and static display in 1982 in Ada, Oklahoma.
I think you are reffering to the EAAs B-17 Alimunum Overcast that is on tour recently (I believe its still in the SE), it natural shiny metal color. It was just in Daytona recently very cool plane, but the panel. Well lets just say that I don't think they had Garmin in WWII.
It was parked on the ramp at Gwinnett (LZU) today when we pulled in. Walked over and took a look around. I have real respect for the guys there flying it, particularly landing it today with the xwinds. My big respect goes to the guys that hauled those things over Europe in WW2, really puts things into perspective for me...
It is probally the same group that came into DFW area a few weeks back. They were at Meacham for a weekend then flew over to the Air Museum at ADS. They flew right over the airport I office from at about 1500 agl. There were two planes, B-17 and B-24 I think. Followed by two chase planes, all in formation....
We had a B-17(Sentimental Journey, I think)<--Ignore incorrect spelling parked in front of our hanger for about a week. They were advertising the 2001 CAF Airshow @ MAF(I'm at LBB). For $300 you could take a ride in it. I didn't have the funds, so I didn't ride. I got to see it from dozens of feet away roar up it's engines, taxi out and take off. That occured daily for about a week. I also got to crawl all through it. Squeezed off a few rounds from the tail-gunner position. Well, not really--but I did pretend awfully hard! Later that week Fifi, the B-25, made a brief appearance. Now that's a sweet airplane!
That B-29 flew into Wiley Post in Oklahoma City for a fly-in something like 16 years ago. I was working in radio news and got to cover this event. I identified myself as a pilot and a warbird buff, and the great guys let me sit in the left seat of the B-29. What a totally cool experience!! I remember there were two instruments on a little panel at the yoke; a needle-and- ball turn-and-bank indicator and one other instrument.
Got my weekly spam(newsletter) from the EAA, it says their B-17 is in GA(at least for the week), so thats probally it. Check it out, $5 tours (I took one when it was here). Visit the EAAs website for exact dates and times.
FIFI is here in Jackson this week with it's stable mate Diamond Lil'. Diamond Lil is a B-24 in which they are offering rides for $350 on Sunday. They have been here all week, and they look pretty nice. Good old FiFi flew up here on a bad inboard left engine monday and is undergoing some major surgery as we speak. They hope to have her fixed by Monday morning when they are scheduled to fly on to their next location. I was told it would take 3 days to change the engine in "perfect" conditions, but we just had some good rain, and i am sure it is kind of difficult trying to work around all of those people admiring the plane up close.
Anyway, they are both really nice planes. They really caught me off guard when i showed for work on Mon and a B-29 was taxing up to the ramp while a B-24 was circling to land. Not something you see everyday. Got some good pictures though.
I used to instruct on the same ramp as the Mid Atlantic Air Museum at KRDG. A nice Mitchell bomber, an R4D (navy C-47) and a bunch of other nice planes. We used to have a premier airshow every year at Reading, and I'm not sure why it stopped. We have a smaller one called the WWII weekend, which is nice, but no Blue Angels, etc.
I climbed around in the rebuilt B-17 now called the Fuddy Duddy a few years ago. The original was lost, and this is a great representation of the original. I think it lives up in Elmira, NY.
Nothing like the sound of a round engine. I'd like to own a Stearman someday.
There is a Balloon Festival this weekend in Panama City, Florida and they are giving rides to the public for $150 per ride. Since I work for the media, I get to go for free... I'm looking forward to it.. Anyway, they are going to have a B-17 do a flyover this afternoon and Sunday afternoon at the festival. I'm kinda curious if the wake is going to take down any hot air balloons..
Huck makes a good point. These planes were flown by Captains (22 year old lieutenants) at 200 hours. I've gone to my Uncle's bomb group reunion for the last 4 years and it's really something when asking a fella how many hours he had when he moved to a B-24 and he says "oh, I had quite a bit, at least 200 hours".
Very, very impressive. I believe they only used ADF's for navigation as well. Could be wrong, but definitely no Garmins!
I saw it last night parked in lawrenceville (LZU) when I taxied in. I believe it is some sort of draw for the FAA wings program being held there this weekend. It is amazing to see how far we have come..