The last couple of days we have been spotting a WW II era B-17 flying right over our house. Since I read a couple of books about the B-17 (which is was what the Memphis Belle was), I decided to Google this plane and see why it is here. As it turns out, there is an air museum in Galveston, and this weekend they flew the planes to a small airport in Spring, which is a few miles away. For $425 they were offering 25 minute rides on the B-17, but for $6 we could go inside and check it out. So... We drove to Spring and were able to see the B-17 Flying Fortress, a B-25, and a Stearman bi-plane. What a treat! The 50 cal. guns were still in the B-17, with dummy rounds hanging out. I was able to see the Norden Bombsight ( a top-secret device invented in WW II to make bombing more accurate) , the ball turret underneath the fuselage, and everything else inside. Memphis Belle was and is one of my favorite movies, so to see a real B-17 was a treat. Apparently they used this plane in the movie, not as the Memphis Belle, but as another plane in the squadron.
The B-25 was also very cool. This is the model of bomber they used in the Doolittle raids on Tokyo in April of 1942, to get back at Japan for Pearl Harbor. Since no plane at that time could hold enough fuel to fly from Hawaii to Tokyo, 16 B-25's were stripped of all unnecessary items to make them lighter, and pilots had to learn to take off of aircraft carriers. If you have seen the movie Pearl Harbor, Ben Affleck's character pilots one in the Doolittle raid.
Anyway, it was VERY cool to see the four engines fired up and the B-17 taxi around the runway. What a treat!