We had a B17 and a B24 selling sight seeing rides in Long Beach California this week end. The planes were on display all day and the rides started at a little after 4:00 PM. Tickets were $425 a pop. They also had a P51 Mustang with tandem seating. A half hour was $2000 and a full hour was $3000.
They flew right over our house and so I couldn't get a good shot. They are rather quiet on final approach with a low power setting and so I couldn't tell when they were coming and get lined up for a good shot.
Kinda pricey - but WOW what an experience that must be ....
What a generation of brave men. I'm just reading the book "The return of the Enola Gay" , signed by Paul Tibbets and his navigator. I bought it as a collectors item ( I have a thing for WW 2 memorabilia ). We should all be so thankful to that generation. I know some of them join us on this forum.
(Message edited by adminchris on April 21, 2014)
WWII Weekend is coming up in early June in Reading PA. We're part of the home front re-enactor group and have a ball each year. They sell rides in a B-29 (Fifi, the only flyable B-29), a B-17, B-25, Mustang, Dauntless and Helldiver (only flyable ones). Its expensive, but these are very expensive planes to operate and need every penny to keep them in the air for us to enjoy.
Meant to indicate the Dauntless and Helldiver were the only flyable ones.
I flew in Evergreen's B17 for two summers on tour...Blew am engine over Florence Arizona, 0nce just after takeoff...Took 3 days and $25,000 to get another installed...How they ever did it on the islands in WW2 is hard to imagine...
My father owned a Dauntless that sat in our side yard for a few years while he restored it. He lost his pilot's license due to health issues and eventually sold it to the Confederate Air Force in Texas. It then made it's way to the Confederate Air Force on the east coast (Atlanta I believe) where he visited it and took some pictures of it during another restoration effort. I still have those pictures somewhere.
That plane caused a great many wrecks in front of our home as "Lookey Lou #2" (looking at the plane while driving by) didn't notice "Lookey Lou #1) and rear ended him! This happened fairly routinely.
I was a mechanic on B-29s in SAC in the early 50's
and had to fly with the plane to many places, from Travis AFB ca. TO England, Florida, Guam, and Yakota AFB Japan. Sitting on the floor between the side gunners was NO soft ride. Even had to get ready to bail out one time over the swamps one time, thank god we didn't half to. When younger we thought it was fun. HO HO HO.
Every couple of years I take deserving students from my history class to see these aircraft when they fly into Long Beach or John Wayne Airport. As visitors you are able to crawl all over the insides except the cockpit. You can poke your head in there though. Some pics from last year's visit:
My father-in-law was with the 8th Army Air Force in England during WWII. For his 80th birthday, I bought him a 30-minute flight on that B17. He had not been near one since the end of the war but on that day he climbed through that plane like it was yesterday. Best $ I ever spent! (I went for a ride, too!)
Those planes are connected to the "Wings of Freedom" tour presented by the Collings Foundation from Stow Massachusetts.
They also have a "Vietnam Memorial" tour that includes a F-4 Phantom, TA-4J Skyhawk and UH-1 Huey.
But that is just the "Tip of the Iceberg" because they have a bunch of static and flying aircraft (see the link)
They also have an automotive collection that is enough to bring tears to the eyes of most enthusiasts.
It has at least two Model Ts, a bunch of Indy cars, Classic cars, and Al Capon's V 16 Cadillac Limo.
I could spend a week just looking at the vehicles, but the best time is when they actually start some of them -
The sensory overload is enough to -----
If I need to explain it you would not understand -
I wrote an article about these two airplanes about ten years ago, when they visited Republic Airport. If anybody would like to read it, just PM me.
Wonder if I can get them to retro this and pay me for all the free rides I had ?