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 Post subject: B-17, B-24, P-51 visit Lubbock
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:58 pm 
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Location: Lubbock, Texas USA
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This last one is of the tail gunner's window. The lines on the plexiglass insert are for drift correction. I just couldn't imagine someone small enough to fit inside, let alone actually shoot down another plane looking through these small windows...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:05 pm 
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Location: Lubbock, Texas USA
The bombadier/navigator station:
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View out the left window from the pilot's seat:
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Having props so close must have taken some getting used to- I always thought the cockpit was a bit more forward...

Looking aft from the cockpit:
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I could just BARELY squeeze between the bomb racks- I don't see how a parachuted crew member in full flight gear, with oxygen mask could do the same feat- especially while in flight!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:10 pm 
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great pics ...thanks for posting them :D :D :D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:12 pm 
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Radio operator's station:
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Perhaps the roomiest part of the plane.

The youngster squeezin off a few rounds on the starboard waist-gunner's station:
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He's never been inside a B-17 before, or even seen a B-17 movie (yet), but he seemed to know exactly what that gun was for!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:17 pm 
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A few shots of the B-24...

I focused on stuff I never can seem to get correct modelling- struts and landing gear:
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The wheel-well for the port main landing gear:
Image So I'm sure the wing was much more efficient once the gear was up- anyone know for certain?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:24 pm 
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B-24 Noseart:
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I've always thought the engines were "sideways":
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The sliding bomb-bay panels:
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Question: how did the loaders install the bombs with the B-24's low-ground clearance? Or did that actually help? I guess bomb cradles/trucks were low enough to fit underneath?

Close-up on the sliding doors:
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Another question: Are the doors one single piece? I thought they were hinged/flexible like a roll-top desk. Anyone know?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:33 pm 
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The aft access ladder and tail jack installed to keep the plane's nose on the ground:
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Interesting warning label posted right inside the aft hatch:
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"FEDERAL OFFENSE for damaging or disabling this aircraft. Offense punishable by fines up to $10,000, imprisonment or even death. FBI will be notified" Death? Seriously?

Looking back towards the tail gunner's station in the B-24:
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The rails on the left were to pass ammo crates aft for the twin tail guns.
The Liberator was MUCH ROOMIER than the B-17.

While looking out the port waist-gunner's window, I caught this pic of the P-51 returning from a flight:
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:39 pm 
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And a few shots of the P-51:
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I was ALMOST able to get the entire prop in the shot:
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A look at the main undercarriage and air scoop:
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These are just a few of the shots I got today- I actually ran out of memory on the camera! It's an older version digital which explains why some of the shots looked too bright or off-color...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:37 pm 
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Great shots MOCR! A few notes on the planes. You mentioned the tight squeeze through the bomb bay on the B-17. Having done this many times on the plane at the museum here I agree. It's very tight. I barely fit (6'3" with size 14 feet). However, the crew members were smaller than we are on purpose, and, they rarely had their parachutes on when they would be walking through that area. If they had their chutes on in the bomb bay, it's because they were jumping out of it most likely. Oh, and the B-24 landing gear thing. Yes, it was much more efficient wheels up. The wheel actually helped complete the curvature of the wing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:51 pm 
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Boy-o-boy will I be saving some of this pics for reference!
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:34 pm 
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Hey, that reminds me. If any of you guys need reference pics on an aircraft of the cold war era, let me know. If it's a US plane, chances are probably good I have access to one and can get pictures in a relatively timely manner. Here's a list of planes I can get shots of.

http://www.sasmuseum.com/exhibits/aircrafts/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:53 pm 
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I remember reading somewhere that the B-24's patented Davis wing (thick carefully shaped airfoil and high aspect ratio for efficient high altitude performance) never delivered the benefits because production tolerances and metallurgy at the time couldn't build the wing clean enough to fully realize the theoretical potential (lots of bubblehead rivets, lapped seams, etc.)

Ernest Gann in "Fate is the Hunter" excoriates that wing (he flew C-87s, the cargo conversion of a B-24), saying it couldn't "carry enough ice to chill a highball". That's always the problem with theory: the real world rarely ever fits.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:01 am 
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Great photos and info there MOCR, thanks for sharing :D.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:24 am 
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Location: Lubbock, Texas USA
Thanks ya'll!

Here's some video our local newspaper shot of the planes:

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1137960457?bctid=19442254001

Something I noticed when watching the video- the gear doors on the P-51 actually CLOSE on start-up. That means they'd have to open to allow the gear to retract. Anyone know the reason for this? I can't imagine the drag caused having them down during takeoff would matter that much...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:51 am 
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I would guess ground clearance for rough fields.


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