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Sunday my son and I took a ride in a B-17, the "Nine-O-Nine". What a blast. We had a 1/2 hour while airborne to crawl all through the plane with the exception of the ball turret, tail gun position and pilot seats (occupied by the people keeping us in the air). It is much tighter inside the B-17 than I ever imagined. One of the guys on the flight had been a B-17 pilot during the war - told me he flew 23 missions over Italy and 2 over Berlin. He needed help getting through the bulkhead openings, but it was great to have him along. The outfit that has the planes (Colling Foundation) also has a B-24 and B-25 that you can ride. I'll definitely get a flight in one of those next year. Here are some pics.........I'm the old fat one in the one picture. If you look out the waist gun window you can see the tops of trees. The shot over the back of the B-17 was taken through the upper gun turret.

Vern
 

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Vern, very cool indeed. I have seen the nine-o-nine several times but I have never be able to afford the $ at the time to go for a ride. What a great experience to share with your son. Denny
 

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Sweet! Where did you do that???!??!?!?
 

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Do they tour or anything? I'm serious. My dad was a ball turret gunner/radio operator on B-17's during the War and he is still alive. I would love to be able to get a ride for him. Wouldn't care how much it cost, I'd find a way to pay for it for him to be able to take one more ride.
 

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Way to go Vernz ! That trio of bombers was here in MA just a couple of weekends ago. I treated my self to the "squeeze through" tour. Fabulous to touch history even if just for a few minutes.
 

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mosinman9130 - I did the flight in Schenectady, New York. Zoostation - There are actually about 3 different organizations providing rides on different planes around the country. Here's the website for the group I flew with:

http://cfdn.org/cf_schedule-wof.htm

In addition to the 80++ year old on our flight, there was another 80++ year old in a wheel chair that went up in the B-25. They were very helpful and respectful of the old warriors who needed help getting in and out of the planes.

Definitely not cheap at $425 per seat, but how much is a lifetime memory worth?

Here's the nose art:



Vern
 

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Pop was a pilot, flew 30. First mission 12-24-43. Last was 6-6-44. It took 3 planes, Feather Merchant, Ice Cold Katy, and Quitting Time. They offered him a flight for free but he wasn't interested. If you think its cramped in the fuselage try moving around with about 5000 .50 cal empties rolling around.

regards
badger
 

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Vernz--was on the Nine-O-Nines in 2003, but just static walk through. Walking the catwalk down the bomb bay while sitting still wasn't particularly easy!

Hope you don't mind a few more pics of this bird, as I had a long time in her and took many pics.









Note--above is actually from the B-24 pics below...Denny's sharp eye and his similar pics picked up this mistake on my part. Thanks Denny!

Don't we all gravitate to the same great stuff!


 

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mosinman9130 - I did the flight in Schenectady, New York. Zoostation - There are actually about 3 different organizations providing rides on different planes around the country. Here's the website for the group I flew with:

http://cfdn.org/cf_schedule-wof.htm

In addition to the 80++ year old on our flight, there was another 80++ year old in a wheel chair that went up in the B-25. They were very helpful and respectful of the old warriors who needed help getting in and out of the planes.

Definitely not cheap at $425 per seat, but how much is a lifetime memory worth?

Here's the nose art:



Vern

Collings also brought this B-24..the nose art has since been completely changed--perhaps due to family value concerns. Did not know they had a B-25 in the fleet that flew demos. Any pics of it?



 

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Do they tour or anything? I'm serious. My dad was a ball turret gunner/radio operator on B-17's during the War and he is still alive. I would love to be able to get a ride for him. Wouldn't care how much it cost, I'd find a way to pay for it for him to be able to take one more ride.
Zoo--get your Dad to fly and I'll toss in $20 toward the ride just to says "Thanks for his service"".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Shyquester,

Here are a couple of pictures of the B-25. I shot quite a bit of video footage of all the planes, but I can't post that.

Vern
 

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Zoo--get your Dad to fly and I'll toss in $20 toward the ride just to says "Thanks for his service"".

Thanks Shy, that's a very kind offer. I couldn't accept it but I do appreciate the thought.


Holy Moses!! I just checked the schedule for Wings of Freedom and they're coming to Westminster, MD in a week and a half. Maybe this was meant to be. My dad always wants me to drive him to Westminster anyway because that's where his folks are buried.

I'm not an overly religious man but why do I feel like maybe somebody up there wants me to do this for my dad :)
 

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Other rides

For those in MI, the Yankee Air museum at Willow Run airport has similar rides in the B-17 and I believe a C-47 and B-24. Their 17 is the Yankee Lady. Dont know on the cost, but is on the website I think... Great pics, I want to do that soon!
 

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Vernz--IIRC, the B-25 had blown an engine on take-off out of Columbus in 2003 and did not make it the Allegheny County Airport with the other two. So much smaller than the "Big Boys", and they were very tight! I have never seen a B-25 up close (unless I forget one at the USAF Museum in Dayton) Wow. Thanks
 

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Vernz and Shy - great photos! Those kind of posts are the reasons why I keep checking in.
 

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Vernz and Shy - great photos! Those kind of posts are the reasons why I keep checking in.
I'd be happy to burn what I have on these airplanes on a CD and send them to you. Also many "vintage" photos taken from the web over the years. (Some pretty graphic in terms of dead.)
 

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Vernz, That looks like great fun. I would love to do that with my kids one day.
 

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For those in MI, the Yankee Air museum at Willow Run airport has similar rides in the B-17 and I believe a C-47 and B-24. Their 17 is the Yankee Lady. Dont know on the cost, but is on the website I think... Great pics, I want to do that soon!
http://www.yankeeairmuseum.org/ - The main page.
http://yankeeairmuseum.org/aircraft/flights.shtml - Flight information.
B-17 Flight Experience, $425.00 per seat, 1/2 hour airborne.
B-25 Flight Experience, $400.00 per seat, 1/2 hour airborne.

I consider myself lucky because I work on Willow Run Airport. We get to watch all the things they do out there. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ISMOID - My Dad lives in Michigan and would like to take the Yankee flight but he's concerned about being able to get around after I explained the tight quarters inside. They have openings for a flight from Willow Run on Saturday and next Wednesday. I'm working on getting him to go even if he can't squeeze through every area.

Vern
 

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I get to fly just about every single day as it is my job. But it is more than a job - it is my life, my desire, second love, and what I relish doing for as long as God will allow me.

Never does the satisfaction fade. Every single time I leave the bonds of earth and soar skyward, I am filled with consumate glee. The feeling changes back to hum-drum the second I roll onto the taxi-way after completing the landing (or turns to frustration if I f*&K up the landing, which of course NEVER happens. Well, not since yesterday anyway :)) )



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