Did anybody else see the B-17 at Centennial Airport?

Discussion in 'Denver' started by pbromaghin, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    On Saturday I went to see Aluminum Overcast at Centennial Airport just outside Denver. There were several other planes on display, WWII re-enactors in US and German uniforms, vehicles and merchandise. there were free plane rides for kids ane you could ride the B-17 for $450. Watching them fire up those 4 Wright Cyclonesis impressive. I burned a roll of tmax in the C33 and finished off some Portra 35mm.

    The C33 was a big hit! Several of the old vets told stories about the TLRs they bought while stationed in Japan during the occupation. One sold his C33 when he went digital. One of the re-enactors (sporting a .45 M1911A1 and an M3) now does wet plate and is interested in trying medium format. An elderly British woman was standing next to me as we watched the B-17 taxi for takeoff. She has a C220 on display in her apartment Her daughters are always lobbying to see who gets it in her will. She felt inspired to get it out next week and shoot. One of the ground crew asked if it was a stereo camera.

    Still unfamiliar with the camera after 1/2 dozen rolls, I fumbled the one chance I had during takeoff.
     
  2. panchro-press

    panchro-press Member

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    One just went down near Aurora, Illinois.
     
  3. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2011
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It is always an experience to see these things flying. To my recollection, there were about 12,000 made, and by the end of the war, 3/4 of those had been either lost or damaged beyond repair. Most of the rest were trashed after the way.

    OTOH, there are plenty of B-25's still flying. One of them (a bare metal glass-nosed model) used to cruise over all the time when I lived in Charlseton, SC. (And F-117's, F-16's, and A-10's as well, as we had an AFB there. I have never heard a more earth-shatteringly loud jet as the F-16! They would look about as big as a red ant in the sky, but it felt like they were strafing my apartment at 100 feet off the ground!)
     
  5. mark

    mark Member

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    Bet that farmer is pissed. I especially liked the first two shots with the fireman and the itty bitty fire extinguisher.
     
  6. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Once in a while they have old air shows here. Really love those old airplanes!

    Jeff
     
  7. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I rode in a Collings Foundation B-17. It was about $400 and was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the cost of a car payment. As someone interested in history, it was really cool, and I highly suggest it if it's going to be in your area. They are a very skilled bunch who take very good care of the planes. You have to stay seated on takeoff and landing (basically strapped to the floor in the corner somewhere; I was in the radio room). Once aloft, you can wander about the plane from the tail to the nose. Nothing like walking the little catwalk up the middle of the bomb bay while flying knowing the history of the plane. Looking down is pretty cool through the big nose. They had a hatch off of the roof in the radio room while I was in it and you could poke your head up if you could deal with 180 knot airstream and look out from the top of the plane. Got some digital photos here.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Film photos would be more chronologically appropriate! :tongue:
     
  9. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    If they're not Agfa or Fuji!:wink:
     
  10. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Here's a LIFE magazine set of 40 period photographs of B-17s (and others) and related subjects. Many of these are in color, which is not common.

    Notable is color photo #15:

    "LIFE photographer Margaret Bourke-White sits atop the engine of the B-17 bomber "Flying Flit-Gun" in Northamptonshire, England, in the fall of 1942."

    She appears to be posing while holding some flavor of a Rolliflex TLR (adorned with a crooked lens hood).

    Also notable is b&w photo #28:

    "The engine of an American B-26 Marauder bomber falls off after the plane was hit by ground fire over the French city of Toulon in 1942."

    I've never seen anything quite like this before. Longtime photography writer Art Kramer ("View from Kramer") flew as a bombardier in the B-26 Willie the Wolf during WWII. He managed to take his camera along for the ride for some memorable pictures.

    Ken
     
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  11. rphenning

    rphenning Member

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    Liberty Bell came to my local airport a while back with a B-24. Talk about rare flying examples, I think the b-24 was one of three left in flying condition in the world. Sad they lost the plane, amazing that everyone was okay.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Holy Mole! Another B-17 bites the dust. Sad...and extremely fortunate that nobody was killed.
     
  13. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Is art still with us? He used to post a lot in the newsgroup soc.history.war.world-war-ii. Been reading his stuff in there for years and never knew he was a photographer.
     
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  15. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, he is still with us. On May 2, 2009 the following post appeared in The Online Photographer (at the very bottom of the page):

    "I'm not dead yet. In fact my entire WW II crew of the B-26 Willie the Wolf are all gone now. I am the last man standing of that brave crew."

    Art Kramer
    344th Bomb Group
    Bombardier on B-26 Willie the Wolf
    England France Belgium Holland Italy Germany

    In my youth I followed his photography writing, especially during his time at Modern Photography. During all those years I had no idea of his service during WWII. Years later I stumbled across the website I linked to above and was mesmerized by his combat stories and photographs. (Don't miss this story or this photo.)

    I'm sure there are many others who also had no idea of his wartime exploits, but instead knew of him only through his photography.

    Ken
     
  16. toro_mike

    toro_mike Subscriber

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    Well, that explains what flew over Chatfield reservoir while I was there. What an amazing plane and what an experience seeing it fly over!! Thanks for pointing this out!
     
  17. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    If there's a bright side to look on (apart from the fact that all survived), it's that in such cases there are usually salvageable parts that go on to keep other examples flying or to complete static exhibits.
    One of the saddest documentaries I remember concerned the restoration of a B-29 somewhere in the Arctic Circle. After many problems getting it airworthy it was ready to fly out when a relatively minor fuel leak caused a major fire and the aircraft's total destruction. Unfortunately aluminium burns rather well in the right circumstances, as the British Navy discovered in the Falklands War.

    Steve
     
  18. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    My father was in the Army Air Corps during WWII. I took him and my 2 sons for a ride on a Collings Foundation B-17 for his 83rd birthday. We arranged it as a surprise for him, and needless to say he was thrilled, teary eyed, and reminiscent. The staff were all wonderful and very solicitous—he needed a bit of help getting on and off the plane. It was a good day....
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    That pissed me off so much. That guy was an idiot. He insisted on flying it off the iceberg, against everyone's recommendations and pleas. Way to ruin a rare piece of history for a chance at pumping your own ego, buddy! All he had to do was ship it to a safe location, and it could have been saved.

    I believe there may only be one airworthy B-29 left. I happened to see it by chance at Camarillo airport in Southern California maybe 10 years ago. I was heading south on 101 and saw it in the distance sitting by a hangar. I was surprised, to say the least! I was only able to get up to a fence about 50 feet from it.
     
  20. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    And from what I understand, the fire was caused by leakage from a small jury-rigged tank for an auxiliary generator, which they in their haste to fly, never secured adequately.
     
  21. cfclark

    cfclark Member

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    I've seen that documentary a couple of times and it irritates me to no end. All that preparation to get the thing just barely airworthy, and a mistake made in haste and hubris trashes the plane and the project in about five minutes. Not to mention two perfectly good engines, brought in just for that purpose, are now at the bottom of the frozen lake.
     
  22. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Lucky. That would be Fifi.
     
  23. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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  25. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    Lord that was depressing to watch.

    It did remind me of the first few still photos of that recently lost B-17, where the crew had to stand there helpless in that field and watch as the fire spread from a single engine to consume the entire aircraft.

    Ken
     
  26. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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