I don’t think words can do it justice.
It was just one of those “moments” that make you stop and really think about what’s going on. I’m geeky about nostalgia and stuff… I felt like I was going back in time.
We got our pre-flight briefing, then the flight engineer asked for two volunteers. Of course my hand shoots up. He says, “Ok you’re in first. All the way up front to the flight deck. Your seat is going to be directly behind the pilots.” I sat behind the pilot and right under the top turret.
Sitting there on the floor of a B-17 listening to the pilots run through their preflight checklist. Feeling the Wright Cyclones start up, 1200 hp at a time. Hearing the roar of 4800 hp when the throttles were ramped up for take off. The sounds, smells, sights, feels… man, it was a great experience.
I took a ton of pictures at first then decided to just soak it up. For some reason everyone else was hanging out in the rear fuselage at the waist gun positions To get to the nose you have to crawl under the flight deck. Maybe people just didnt want to squeeze through there? One guy asked his wife if she wanted to go down there and she said, “Why, what’s in there?”
Pffft. The best damn view on this bitch, that’s what!
I sat with the flight engineer up front for a good 10 minutes just taking it all in. Flying low over Dallas in the nose bubble of a B-17G… yeah, I won’t be forgetting that anytime soon.
I got to the airport around 745 am. Here’s the B-24, B-17 and B-25. The P-51 was not scheduled to arrive until 1040am.
That little spot on the floor next to the flag was mine
The instant the plane lifted off we were free to unbuckle and move around (except the tail and ball turret).
Views from the top turret:
Views from the nose:
Cockpit view in a nice bank:
The 1,200 hp Wright R-1820-97 Cyclone engines in action