Last week our local airport had a three-day “air fair”. The middle day had the Snowbirds and a CF18 demonstration team, but we went to Crossfit instead of watching that. On the Thursday afternoon we drove out to see the static displays. It ended up being only the B17 on display, but that was okay because that was the big draw for me.
The Commemorative Air Force in the States has a number of vintage war birds that they have restored and maintain in flying condition and they tour the continent. Three years ago, they had their B25 Miss Mitchell attend a one-day air show here. This year, it was to be the B17 Sentimental Journey and the B25 Made in the Shade. Unfortunately, the B25 didn’t make it from its date in Manitoba – mechanical difficulties meant it had to be taken back into the States for some work.
When we arrived, there weren’t very many people around. After we finished our walk through, the line up was stretching far. I wanted to shoo them all away so I could get a nice photo.
As was usual in WWII, the planes all had nose art. This was Betty Grable.
If you click through onto the CAF site, they have info files on each of the planes. Here’s the pdf for the B17.
In the documentation, it tells us that there were seven gunner positions throughout the plane. The bombardier in the nose also had to man a gun when required. The ball turret and rear gunner were probably the most precarious.
We really like aviation history and Bill particularly likes WWII history, so whenever we have the chance to see something like this, we will go! There are more photos on my flickr album here (scroll down to see the plane photos).