Sunday, March 16, 2008

Totally Awesome B-17 and B-25

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!


Anonymous said...

Cool pictures Dudes, I wish I was there with you. I used the picture of you with the 50 cal. as my desttop display. DAD

wendy said...

oh man!!!! austin is going to be soooooo jealous. jordan and i spotted the plane too...she was afraid we were going to be bombed LOL

hoping they're still here? sounds like a trip for father & son!

and i have to this kent or jana speaking? cause jana, if you know that much about airplanes i'm going to be VERY impressed :)

Kent and Jana said...

Wendy- I Jana am the dorky one who likes WW II bombers.

My Grandpa was a mechanic on the B-25 during the war, so maybe that is where I get it? :-)

Alexandra said...

hey Jana.
thats really cool!!!
i miss you i wish you could come down and visit , did you forget about me :(
stay in touch I'll send you my new email address.

don't forget about me :(
send me a video shout out LOL

Carol said...

That is so funny that you know that much about planes. I think you should make a cake in the shape of one.

Annie said...

Hey Jana, it's Annie. Camille just told be about your blog so I had to check it out! I'm so glad you are liking Texas! I'll have to read more to catch up. Let's try to talk soon!