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B-17 Tour At Drake Field


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#1 jason777

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:28 PM

I went to tour a B-17 bomber today at Drake Field and we took some pictures to share.

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#2 jason777

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:29 PM

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Ball turret.

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#3 jason777

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:34 PM

Oxygen bottle for ball turret.

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Here is the walkway through the bomb bay. It's incredible that it's so narrow. Imagine walking through it while it's open at 20,000 feet. :o

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Me having way too much fun.
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By the end of the tour I rate the B-17 as a human death trap and an accident just waiting to happen. It is designed simply to keep a few people alive long enough to drop just enough ordinance to make an enemy angry. I wouldn't be brave enough to fly in this thing during peace time. :P

From the outside it's a beautiful and awe inspiring machine, but as far as survivability, comfort, and dependability, forget about it.

The thin aluminum fuselage can be shot through with a pellet gun and has no insulation.

I was impressed with the mechanical engineering. The massive radial engines are the size of a honda civic.



Enjoy.

#4 jason777

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:43 PM

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Here are some shots from inside the museum.

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Enjoy.

#5 supamk3speed

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 09:16 PM

Thanks for sharing, I would have hated to been the guy chosen to man the ball turret.

#6 jason777

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 09:43 PM

Thanks for sharing, I would have hated to been the guy chosen to man the ball turret.


Fortunately, my height of 6 ft. would have disqualified me from most positions aboard the aircraft. Even the belly gunner positions were too low for me to aim without bending down and it was all I could do to squeeze my way through the front bombardier hatch.

The only quick escape route for pilots and bombardier, in the event of an emergency, is to dive out of the bomb bay doors. The ball turret gunner would have to be pulled out by the belly gunners before he could even put on a chute. The tail gunner wouldn't fair much better and, being at the tail, would have took the most direct fire. The belly gunners and radio operator are the only ones that have a full size door nearby to jump out of.

Here's an escape route diagram I found.

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Enjoy.

#7 thatsneakyguy

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 02:07 AM

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Awesome!
I actually rode in this thing a few years ago, right there in the radio operators seat. I remember I really had to grip that little bench because right after we took off the pilot took a sharp bank left and my side was angled down pretty steep.

Oh yeah, I should add that it was the first (yes FIRST) plane I ever flew in. Needless to say I was nervous. Engines were super loud too.

Awesome ride. Would do it again if it weren't so expensive.

#8 thatsneakyguy

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 02:30 AM

Fortunately, my height of 6 ft. would have disqualified me from most positions aboard the aircraft. Even the belly gunner positions were too low for me to aim without bending down and it was all I could do to squeeze my way through the front bombardier hatch.


I thought the bombadier seat would have been the scariest during an attack. Out in front, all that glass in front of you. I can't imagine how those guys felt when they saw a German plane coming towards them.

Oh yeah, during the flight I went all over the plane; and climbing down that bombadier hatch during flight is a white knuckle experience.




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