B-17 Flying Fortress

85CUCVtom

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
721
19
18
Location
Lakewood, Ohio
You are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lucky!
I was very fortunate to be included on this ride. I know the rides aren't exactly cheap but they are worth every penny.

You only have to be seated for ground operations (takeoff, landing and taxiing), after that you are free to go anywhere in the plane.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Another Ahab

Well-known member
16,877
1,400
113
Location
Alexandria, VA
I was very fortunate to be included on this ride. I know the rides aren't exactly cheap but they are worth every penny.
When you think of what it must cost to keep those monsters flying, the $450 a flight is totally reasonable (almost cheap even).

The fuel, the maintenance, the hangar fees, parts (and on and on). It must cost a pretty penny to keep that bird airworthy.

Both the Ohio and the Canada ships look like they're both the same variant (the G-type I think it is). Very cool!
 

85CUCVtom

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
721
19
18
Location
Lakewood, Ohio
When you think of what it must cost to keep those monsters flying, the $450 a flight is totally reasonable (almost cheap even).

The fuel, the maintenance, the hangar fees, parts (and on and on). It must cost a pretty penny to keep that bird airworthy.

Both the Ohio and the Canada ships look like they're both the same variant (the G-type I think it is). Very cool!
The flight engineer told us it costs about $4500/hour to operate.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

tobyS

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
4,638
399
83
Location
IN
Talked to my dad and looked at lots of pictures. He was in the 34th Bomb Group and we think it was Crew 509. His date of entry was July 1943 and date of separation Sept 7, 1945. When he entered, he was to go to Mass. for engineer training, but ended up in N. Carolina at aircraft mechanic and gunner 748 training (top gunner and crew chief). He was released early because of exceeding the mission requirements. He was stationed at Mendlesham airbase, Ipswitch England.

On their crew's first mission they were doing recon and got off the flight path. They had to drop below clouds to get a visual and when they did, were over a German held area with extremely heavy flack. He showed me a piece of flack that he said is a broken up engine cylinder liner that hit the bottom of his seat (top gunner), but didn't go through. The plane had only one engine left and they made it to the English Channel to ditch. They spotted a convoy, not knowing if it was friend or enemy and went in near it. He has photo of the plane in the water (reminds me of Sully Sullenberger), taken by the freighter crew. The entire crew lived and were brought aboard a freighter.

The crew got a new plane and they named it the "Flying Fish" after their ordeal on the first mission. Pictures of the plane and crew show the fish painting, which is the strangest fish I have ever seen. I noticed it resembled a locust, more than a fish.

He flew 38 missions on Germany after that.

Most of his life he lived with hearing loss due to the sustained high altitude flights, but recently the VA has helped him with hearing aids and cochlear implant, which about killed him on the install and hasn't been as helpful as hoped, but he's doing better with the combined implant and exterior aid.

I'm trying to get him to stop mowing his yard with his push mower (at 92), but can't find a kid to do it (and he almost always beats me to it). He was married to my mom for 62 years and while having a woman friend, misses her terribly. We've stayed in the community to help him and (when home from college) my children visit regularly (except son in sub service).
 

Tracer

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,052
1,981
113
Location
Hawthorne, NV.
Talked to my dad and looked at lots of pictures. He was in the 34th Bomb Group and we think it was Crew 509. His date of entry was July 1943 and date of separation Sept 7, 1945. When he entered, he was to go to Mass. for engineer training, but ended up in N. Carolina at aircraft mechanic and gunner 748 training (top gunner and crew chief). He was released early because of exceeding the mission requirements. He was stationed at Mendlesham airbase, Ipswitch England.

On their crew's first mission they were doing recon and got off the flight path. They had to drop below clouds to get a visual and when they did, were over a German held area with extremely heavy flack. He showed me a piece of flack that he said is a broken up engine cylinder liner that hit the bottom of his seat (top gunner), but didn't go through. The plane had only one engine left and they made it to the English Channel to ditch. They spotted a convoy, not knowing if it was friend or enemy and went in near it. He has photo of the plane in the water (reminds me of Sully Sullenberger), taken by the freighter crew. The entire crew lived and were brought aboard a freighter.

The crew got a new plane and they named it the "Flying Fish" after their ordeal on the first mission. Pictures of the plane and crew show the fish painting, which is the strangest fish I have ever seen. I noticed it resembled a locust, more than a fish.

He flew 38 missions on Germany after that.

Most of his life he lived with hearing loss due to the sustained high altitude flights, but recently the VA has helped him with hearing aids and cochlear implant, which about killed him on the install and hasn't been as helpful as hoped, but he's doing better with the combined implant and exterior aid.

I'm trying to get him to stop mowing his yard with his push mower (at 92), but can't find a kid to do it (and he almost always beats me to it). He was married to my mom for 62 years and while having a woman friend, misses her terribly. We've stayed in the community to help him and (when home from college) my children visit regularly (except son in sub service).
tobyS, great story about your Dad. My son was assigned to a sub during his silent service days, the (City of Corpus Christy) I believe.
 

tobyS

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
4,638
399
83
Location
IN
Thanks Tracer. I don't say too much about my son's service. He's on a boomer. 105 days under is hard to imagine (out right now). I'm amazed at the amount of info on the internet detailing the Ohio class subs.
 

hangarhermit

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
49
0
6
Location
Houston / Texas
I volunteer with the Collings Foundation when their Wings of Freedom Tour is close to my home airport. Here is a picture of me taken in the radio room of the B-17 with the roof open and a picture of me flying in the P-51 to an airshow in Victoria TX. Taking off from Houston Executive, Stu gave her to me after he lifted off and retracted the gear. I flew her to Victoria and gave her back about 5 miles out so he could set up for his airshow entrance for the waiting crowd and TV cameras. It was a VERY excellent day! Here also is a picture of my Buell with the P-51 during one of the tours.
Collings Airshow March 2010 044.jpgLife at 200mph.jpgIMG_1238.jpg
 

Tracer

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,052
1,981
113
Location
Hawthorne, NV.
Boeing 307 3.jpgBoeing 307  4.jpgBoeing 307  6.jpgBoeing 307  8.jpgBoeing 307  10.jpgBoeing 307  11 .jpgBoeing C-75 1.jpgBoeing C-75.jpgBoeing 307  House Boat.jpg Here is a close cousin to the B-17, the Boeing 307 Stratoliner. The 307 used B-17E wings, horizontal, and vertical stabilizers, along with and an all new pressurized fuselage. This 307 was originally owned by Pan American Airways (PAA), and then ended up being owned by Haitian dictator Papa Doc Duvalier. The 307 was then rescued by the Pima Air Museum, and then on to Boeing and the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy museum. This 307 is the last remaining complete and flyable 307 in the world. But this historic aircraft was almost lost during a test flight when Boeing test pilots accidently ran her out of fuel, and were forced to ditch the aircraft in Puget Sound. She was then restored again in 2003, and then flown to the Smithsonian for permanent display. Photos 1 thru 6 are of this historic aircraft at the Smithsonian, during the flight test program, and then getting rescued from Puget Sound. Photos 7 and 8 are of the military version of the 307, the C-75. Howard Hughes was so impressed with the 307 that he ordered one, and turned it into a flying penthouse, with a bedroom, office, 2 lavatories, a wet bar, and more. That historic 307 aircraft ended up in photo 9. Mr. Hughes 307 was sadly converted into a house boat.
 
Last edited:

Another Ahab

Well-known member
16,877
1,400
113
Location
Alexandria, VA
Photos 7 and 8 are of the military version of the 307, the C-75. Howard Hughes was so impressed with the 307 that he ordered one, and turned it into a flying penthouse, with a bedroom, office, 2 lavatories, a wet bar, and more. That historic 307 aircraft ended up in photo 9. Being converted into a house boat.
We got the Howard Hughes Medical Institute headquartered here in the DC area (in Bethesda MD).

The endowment of the Institute is in the billions. They claim to be doing general medical research, but the story I heard back when I was chasing their business here in the area was different.

We heard that Old Howard had himself put "on ice" when he died. Nobody knows where.

The idea is to resurrect the old man when the medical capability exists to do so (THAT'S the real mission of the Institute).

It sounds like a crazy story. But he was a crazy man apparently. Nobody at the Institute will ever admit to the scuttlebutt.
 
Last edited:

Tracer

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,052
1,981
113
Location
Hawthorne, NV.
XF-11 A.jpgHoward.jpg Howard Hughes was definitely cut from a different cloth than most of us. He was one of the great visionaries of the golden age of flying. Some people said he was a genius, bordering on insanity, and that may be so. I prefer to remember him as the designer & pilot of some of the most important and beautiful aircraft of the 20th century. Such as the predecessor to the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes, the beautiful and fast XF-11. The famous picture of Howard in the left hand seat of the Hughes H-4 (spruce goose), was taken just hours before his famous flight across Los Angeles harbor. I have always wanted to visit the H-4 in person, just to see if I can sneak in, and sit in that left hand seat........just so I can say I dun it!!
 
Last edited:

Another Ahab

Well-known member
16,877
1,400
113
Location
Alexandria, VA
View attachment 695036 The famous picture of Howard in the left hand seat of the Hughes H-4 (spruce goose), was taken just hours before his famous flight across Los Angeles harbor. I have always wanted to visit the H-4 in person, just to see if I can sneak in, and sit in that left hand seat........just so I can say I dun it!!
Oh, man, take a pic when you get there.

Then WE can say we saw it!
 

Guyfang

Well-known member
8,879
3,076
113
Location
Burgkunstadt, Germany
You need to read H.H.'s bio. What a crazy, talented, lucky, smart guy. Key player of the golden age of flight. Saw the Goose as a kid. We lived about an hour away. At that time it was kinda a mess. Lots of damage. I went there with the Cub Scouts. It was huge!!!
 

Another Ahab

Well-known member
16,877
1,400
113
Location
Alexandria, VA
He just LOVED flying.

It's kind of hard not to like people like that:

- Daedalus

- Da Vinci

- Orville and Wilbur

- Lindbergh

- Hannah Reitsch

ALL of them just wanted to fly, to get up there and fly. Kind of cool!
 

Tracer

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,052
1,981
113
Location
Hawthorne, NV.
howard hughes H-1.jpgHughes H-1 2.jpgHughes H-1 3.jpgHughes H-1 4.jpg Howard Hughes other famous aircraft, the Hughes H-1 Racer. 1. A young Howard Hughes with the H-1 racer, 2. Howard going over the pre-flight check list before a test flight. 3. Howard sitting on the prop spinner of the H-1 after running out of fuel, and then successfully belly landing the aircraft in a bean field at Santa Ana Calif.. 4. The H-1 today on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Still beautiful after all these years.
 

Another Ahab

Well-known member
16,877
1,400
113
Location
Alexandria, VA
View attachment 695092 Howard Hughes other famous aircraft, the Hughes H-1 Racer. 1. A young Howard Hughes with the H-1 racer, 2. Howard going over the pre-flight check list before a test flight. 3. Howard sitting on the prop spinner of the H-1 after running out of fuel, and then successfully belly landing the aircraft in a bean field at Santa Ana Calif.. 4. The H-1 today on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Still beautiful after all these years.
That almost is alone a work of art.

Just one clean machine.
 

Tracer

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
3,052
1,981
113
Location
Hawthorne, NV.
Baker Atomic Blast 1.png509th.jpgDrone Unit.jpgBikini B-17 4.jpgground-control-unit-for-b-17-drone.jpgBikini B-17 5.jpgB-17 Drones.jpgBikini B-17 2.jpgBikini B-17.jpgBikini B-17 3.jpgUSS Pensacola CA-24.jpg Back to the B-17 Flying Fortress. No aircraft in American history has served it's country in as many ways as the B-17. At the end of WW2, the B-17 was obsolete as a bomber, yet she continued to serve her country into the Atomic Age. Operation Crossroads, the Atomic Tests Able & Baker, were the first atomic tests after the end of WW2. These tests, one an airburst (able), the other submerged (baker), were conducted at the Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific. The majority of the test subjects were Naval vessels ranging in size from supply barges, to Aircraft Carriers & Battleships, and everything in between. The B-17s main purpose at these Atomic tests, was to gather information about Atomic particles, and collect data on radiation levels. This was accomplished by flying the B-17s through the Atomic clouds after each Atomic test. The military realized the danger to flight crews from atomic radiation, so it was decided that the B-17 aircraft involved in each test, would be flown into the atomic clouds by remote control. The aircraft and controllers became the 58th AW. Some B-17 drones would be controlled from B-17 motherships, while others would be controlled from mobile ground vehicles. The drone B-17s were fitted with filters to trap atomic particles and measure radiation levels. No aircraft the size of a B-17 had ever been flown by remote control before. So, at first there was some mishaps, but there were plenty of low cycle time B-17s available to replace those lost in controller training. Here are some photos of the B-17 flying in service in the Atomic Age. 1. The baker underwater test. 2&3. Atomic Age insignias. 4. B-17 mothership & drone. 5. Ground control vehicle. 6. The cockpit of a remote control B-17. 7. B-17 Motherships and drones flying in formation. 8. B-17 Drone landing. 9. B-17 Drone with the 58th AW insignia on the nose. 10. Ground crews removing filters from the drone aircraft. 10. The USS Pensacola CA-24, a survivor of both nuclear tests, is being checked by military and civilian personnel for damage. The ship probably glows in the dark from radioactivity. But Ya Gotta love the sign, No Smoking & No Souvenirs.
 
Last edited:
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks