Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More Airplanes - different event

I took the family to see some of the WWII aircraft of the Collings Foundation's Wings of Freedom Tour. I got a brief chance to see it last year so I wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity this year.

Well I say full advantage but I'm not quite flush enough for a $2200 ride in Betty Jane, the TP-51C. (There are less expensive options and I would certainly recommend doing it even though I have not...yet.) I did walk around and inside the B-17 and the B-24. Anyone who knows me well knows I love machines; these things are pretty much the Holy Grail of machines. The inside of a WWII bomber is all business. There is no extra seating. For the waist gunners, there is no seating. The cat walk through the bomb bay is about seven inches wide. The supports coming up  from the catwalk would not allow my thirty two inch waist to fit through without turning sideways. The catwalk was about three feet above the tarmac and my five year-old was pretty freaked out walking across it. I couldn't even begin to imagine what it was like being a seventeen year-old recruit working in one of those things at thirty-five thousand feet freezing your ass off with bullets whizzing at you at a loping 150mph. It's pretty amazing stuff. I'm honored to be able to have seen these things. I hope you enjoy the photos.


Shop Teacher Bob said...

Nice photos, I especially like the bottom one. I was up that way yesterday and just by chance saw one of them banking just after taking off - I think it was the B-24 - big plane. I think $425 would have gotten you a ride in a bomber. I think I should see about that next year. Ten bucks a week for a year, why not?

Wade said...

I pretty much experienced it the same way, previously. Completely awesome machinery in every way, the way it was built, how and why it was used,....No nonsense stuff for a no nonsense period in history.
I got quite a few photos, most on the inside.
Yes, a flight would be incredible!

Grumpyunk said...

Nice photos, Surly. I love those old planes and following the link, I realized that I missed them last week up at Mt Comfort. Bummer for me.
I have a coupon for a ride in an old Stearman Biplane that I need to redeem soon & I'm looking forward to that.

Surly said...

Thanks Unk. The biplane in one of the older posts is a Stearman.