Palm Springs Air Museum 12            April 2011

P-63 Kingcobra was a U.S. fighter aircraft which was also used by the Soviet Air Force. It could fly 450 mph and could fly up to 43,000 feet. It had one 37mm cannon that fired through the propeller and two .50 caliber machine guns on each wing.



Check out this early computer... even though it doesn't look like one. It's a mechanical computer used as a bombsite and is very complex. Be sure to click on it to see all the details.

Click for a larger picture



Here is another computer that was used for frequency encoding.



Anyone have any wire cutters?



This plane is very well known which is a B-17 Flying Fortress made by Boeing. This a four engine, high flying, long range heavy bomber used for precision bombing runs. It was able to defend itself with its many machine guns and was known to be able to take many hits from the enemy but still be able to fly back home.

You might be wondering why I took this picture of a model instead of the real deal. The reason is because this aircraft is so big that I couldn't backup far enough to get the whole picture which forced me to take many close-ups instead. This isn't a bad thing as you'll soon see which gives a little more detail to the 27+ pictures that I took of the Flying Fortress.



Again we have another giant picture on the wall which gives you chills when you stop and stare at it from below. One can only imagine how ruff it was for those brave men that flew in these planes. Prior to 1944, a crewman's tour of duty was set at 25 missions. As a measure of the hazards they would encounter, it is estimated that the average crewman had only a one in four chance of actually completing his tour of duty. That's not very good odds and would really peek your stress level to the max.



Let's go through the B-17 section by section and first up we have the engines. The big bomber had four Cyclone turbo-supercharged radial engines that produced 1,200 hp each. It cruised at about 180 mph and top speed was about 280 mph.


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