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Pvt. Ryan

B-17 Spotting

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There's been a B-17 buzzing around my neighborhood all afternoon. I saw it earlier in the week, too. It must be flying in and out of the Van Nuys airport. It sounds so cool.

It looks like it's the Liberty Belle, visiting the Burbank airport for the weekend. http://libertyfoundation.org/images/gallery-b17details/photos-b17.html

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I was walking to lunch with a coworker the other day when I first saw it. I heard the unusual sound so I was scanning the sky. When I saw it was a B-17 I was shouting, "hey, look, it's a B-17!!!" My coworker kept walking. I asked her if she saw the plane and she said, "yeah, it's a plane. I saw it." I tried to explain what it was that she saw, but she didn't care. Girls. :rolleyes:

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I was walking to lunch with a coworker the other day when I first saw it. I heard the unusual sound so I was scanning the sky. When I saw it was a B-17 I was shouting, "hey, look, it's a B-17!!!" My coworker kept walking. I asked her if she saw the plane and she said, "yeah, it's a plane. I saw it." I tried to explain what it was that she saw, but she didn't care. Girls. :rolleyes:

Oh, I don't know about that...my wife used to be an Aeroflot stew; she just loves airplanes and damn near has me pull over the car anytime anthing bigger than a gnat is seen in the air over San Diego. Her favorite spot downtown is where she can watch planes coming into Lindbergh Field over the city high rises. Loves airshows, too. Guess I'm lucky! :D

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A couple of years ago a B17 came here on a fundraiser, maybe Veterans day or Memorial day too. IIRC for $5 each wife and I got to climb up inside. Dang it is small in there.

Our house is about a mile from the airport and sits about 200ft above. Lots of military a/c come and go or do touch and goes.

Edit, we have Lindberg field's old tower.

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A couple of years ago a B17 came here on a fundraiser, maybe Veterans day or Memorial day too. IIRC for $5 each wife and I got to climb up inside. Dang it is small in there.

Our house is about a mile from the airport and sits about 200ft above. Lots of military a/c come and go or do touch and goes.

Edit, we have Lindberg field's old tower.

Tight it is, but the B-24 I once toured was even tighter than the B-17 I got into a couple of years ago. I don't know how anybody could have gotten out of one of those Liberators in a hurry...especially the bombardiers; in both a/c they had to crawl through a tunnel under the pilots...very confining and the B-24 had the nose wheel well you had to get around too, IIRC.

As to the tower...? They tore it down and trucked it to Arizona? Interesting. When was that and why? Historic value?

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Dang it is small in there.

I once went inside a B-36 and the thing I remember the most was how close it was inside the fuselage. Probably not so much as earlier bombers, but it still felt tight after watching them fly over and viewing them from the outside for years.

Michael

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Gunnergoz you sure got lucky. :)

I was mulling over why women are not mechanically minded - was it true?

In the UK only one engineer in 500 is a woman. In the USA the ratio is one in 50 and in the USSR the ratio is one in three. Experience in other countries ...

That from an article I am not prepared to pay for! Allowing for differences in nomenclature I still think it probably is a fair point to make.

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I once went inside a B-36 and the thing I remember the most was how close it was inside the fuselage. Probably not so much as earlier bombers, but it still felt tight after watching them fly over and viewing them from the outside for years.

Michael

LUCKY DOG! I'm jealous. The Aluminum Overcast is one of my all-time favorite a/c and I'd love to crawl around inside one...but there's only a couple left, IIRC.

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I remember the first time I saw a B-52 in the flesh, er, aluminium, how underwhelmed I was. I was expecting something, well, massive. Something on the scale of a Boeing Jumbo.

The blimmin' thing is a little tiddler. Very disappointing.

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LUCKY DOG! I'm jealous. The Aluminum Overcast is one of my all-time favorite a/c and I'd love to crawl around inside one...but there's only a couple left, IIRC.

This one was located in Dallas, Texas when I toured it in 1963. The General Dynamics (formerly Convair) plant where it was built was in Dallas, so I guess the Air Force gave this one back to the home town crowd as a PR gesture. I have no idea where it ended up, in a museum or a junk yard.

Michael

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I searched for a news story and couldn't come up with one but we needed a new tower and Lindbergh was replacing their's.

Interesting, never knew about that or that it was even possible to move such a structure so far...must have been taken apart entirely or cut into segments perhaps and moved that way...

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Interesting, never knew about that or that it was even possible to move such a structure so far...must have been taken apart entirely or cut into segments perhaps and moved that way...

Isn't that what happened to one of London's more famous bridges? It was disassembled stone by stone and reassembled on some rich guy's ranch in Arizona. This was about three or possibly more decades ago IIRC.

Michael

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I'd heard about London Bridge of course but never figured an air control tower to be something they'd deal with in a similar fashion, tearing down & moving an old one instead of building a new one. I must not know much about air control towers...

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They use to fly alot of these things out of Chino airport along with other WWII aircraft.

Now, that the airshow is gone in Orange County....

You have to go to San Diego.

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Five or 6 years ago I took a low level half hour ride in a B-24. Hell of a great time. We sat strapped on the floor facing aft near the waist guns until airborne and then had free roam of the plane, some of us even taking the controls. That old bird sure does creak and rattle a lot. Scary little walk along a narrow suspended catwalk up to the front of the plane above bomb bay doors designed to break away if something heavy lands on them (ie. loose bombs or 250lb old guys like me ;)). Of course the plane started to bank when I was halfway across. :(

We flew in formation with a B-17 and I got some good shots out the waist gun window including some of the 17 below us.

BTW this experiance is available to most everyone in the continental US. Look up "Collings Foundation" and check out their cross country yearly schedule. They have rides in a B17, 25, 24, and even a 2 seat mustang and f4 phantom as well as a 2 seat me-262. Flights start around 400.00 (much higher in the fighters) and the best part is you can write the whole amount off on your taxes as a donation for charity. :D

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Well lo and behold... I head down the hill into Lake Havasu City and spot a large silver wingspan at the North end of the airport. The B-17 Sentimental Journey is selling rides in conjunction with a static aircraft display. The Wall is in town for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial day on Sunday.

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Pvt. Ryan,

Lucky you! Have you seen the indie film on Van Nuys Airport called "One Six Right"? It's a history of aviation via the history of that vital early airport. PBS has it in rotation here in California.

junk2drive,

If you think the plane is small, try the ball turret! Am just under 6' but even with my knees to my chin, we couldn't even close the hatch during a tour of a static one in Chino at Planes of Fame.

Michael Emrys,

When I was kid, I got to see a B-36 at the then Convair plant. The dominant memory is of two huge bomb bays, each, to my child's eye, capable of holding an entire boxcar. The plane was huge, but I don't recall that we got to walk through it, merely around it.

Knew the expression for the B-36, "Four aburnin' and six aturnin'" while still in elementary school.

Regards,

John Kettler

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The dominant memory is of two huge bomb bays, each, to my child's eye, capable of holding an entire boxcar.

I saw a film of a firepower demonstration at Eglin AFB where a B-36 was dropping 1,000 lb HE. The line of explosions looked like it was a quarter of a mile long. I thought it would never stop.

I got to look up into the bomb bay of a static display B-52 once, and it looked big enough to hold a semi-trailer. Of course the bombs both planes were designed to haul were huge. A little later the size came down on later marks, so I guess they would have been able to haul more of them. They certainly hauled plenty of conventional HE bombs for Arc Light missions.

Michael

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