At last we arrive at the main reason we went to Palm Springs the B17. Sentimental Journey which we saw flying and static at CAF Arizona Wing was there making a grand show, giving tour flights and doing a demo. The best part wasn’t so much seeing it fly but hearing the speakers the flew or worked on the B17. The best speaker was Bob Shoens who is the last surviving member of the 100th bomber group 8th division. His story was short, didn’t want to go into too much detail but he was the last plane of his entire squadron to come back after a mission in Germany. It was a rather sad and powerful story, and is safe to to say that it left the crowd in awe.
Before and after the speakers we were allowed to walk around and inside Journey. I had to look. The bomb bay was particularly interesting to me, it always seemed bigger ad yet the are itself really wasn’t that huge. Amazing how that section of plane not much bigger than an ordinary bathroom held enough firepower to level a town. It was quite something to see the inside of such a plane, i always thought it was one giant tube but in actuality it has several chambers. There are definitely some more images to be had inside of the plane provided the opportunity to go inside again.
After the slow start up of the engines the B17 took off. The plane was filled with those wanting a 50min tour, while we waited on the ground to see the demo of it flying by, bomb bay doors open. Waiting, waiting, still waiting. Never happened. Not sure if it was due to all the air traffic that day or if it just wasn’t going to do a flyby but nevertheless it took off and hour later it landed. It would’ve been nice to see a flyby but just seeing the bomber takeoff and land was enough. In the air is the only place these planes belong.
Images captured with Nikon D3, Nikkor AF-S 24-70 f2.8, Nikkor AF-S 200-400 Vr, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film