The Collins Foundation  20            April 2011

The Collins Foundation

While I was working on this update, I had a chance to visit an airport about 60 miles away that happened to have a couple of WWII planes, which were the B-17 and B-24 and are part of the "Wings of Freedom Tour" put on by The Collins Foundation.  I know you've already seen the B-17 a few pages ago but I wanted to show you a couple of things that were a little different than what was at the museum.

Both aircraft were flying that day and this B-17 had just landed. It's taxiing towards me and is getting ready to shut down. Once it was secure people were able to walk around it and go through it. Let's check out a few differences that I happen to see between this one and the one at Palm Springs.



To get into the bomber was exactly the same but not once you were inside.



Very cool looking nose art and this one was called 'Nino O Nine'.



The person that you see (his hands and cane) is still standing on the ladder outside. What you had to do is crawl in, then crawl towards the opening and then stand up. Notice the nice fresh looking wood where his hands are placed, but then quickly turns to a very worn piece of wood. This is because you have to crawl the length of this piece of wood till you get to the edge of the opening and then you can stand up. The plane in the museum wasn't like this and I'm thinking it's because of all the people that go through it day after day is to make it easier for them. I don't think this one has been modified and is more true to how they really are. Once you do stand up you have to make a giant step upward onto that other wood area. If you look close you can see my shoe which is where you would make your first step after standing, which is about two feet tall.



Here is our guy just getting ready to stand up and the next thing he'll do is make his way into that small area which is where I took the last shot. What you see in the foreground is the dorsal turret platform which is where the gunner would place his feet. The Palm Springs plane didn't have this anymore.



Here is our guy one more time as he's getting ready to ender the bomb bay area and is getting ready to climb over that large step. The one in the museum didn't have such a high step which would have been hard to move from place to place if you were in a hurry.


Here is where the ball turret is located and again there is a difference. In the museum plane you were able to walk around this from either side but not here. The only way you can go is to your right and it's very narrow. Also in this shot is what I should have taken at the museum which has all the communication equipment for you to see. Remember how you could switch the radio internals to find a different frequency? With the aid of those the handles on the ones to the left, that made it easier to pull them out and insert them into another slot for your new frequency.

This B-17 is very much true to life and how it was back in the war. I'm glad I went through it because I almost didn't being that I had just seen one a few weeks earlier. Anyways, I thought I'd point out these few differences that I didn't know about untill the other day.


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