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Sep 15, 2016, 10:50 AM
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R/C Diary Pt. 28 “ Flying History”

Sep /15

Okay…..bear with me…..this blog is supposed to about all things r/c. However, if I may indulge the reader, I had the opportunity lately to view three mighty famous WW2 bombers. I felt compelled to share my experience with the big birds!

First up was a much anticipated visit of a B17G “Sentimental Journey” The Flying Fortress, that was stopping off in Hamilton for five days. If memory serves me correctly, there were something like 8,600 of this model “G” built. There are about 12 currently flying and maybe 36 left in the world. So this 71 year old bomber is quite special to see in the flesh!

These airplanes were involved in daytime raids over Germany and as a consequence they suffered enormous casualties. They weren’t particularly fast, cruise was something like 130 knots and the landing speed was around 94 knots.

B-17G Flying Fortress:
Crew - 10
Wingspan - 103’
Power - 4 x 1,200 hp Wright R1820-97 Cyclone Engines
Ceiling - 36,400 ft.
Range - 3,750 miles
Fuel consumption - 2,780 gallon per hour
Bomb Load - 8,000 lbs.
Armament - 13 x .50 calibre machine Guns

I eagerly waited at the west end of the east/west runway at Hamilton Airport and 10 minutes late, the B17G lumbered in from the north west, made a right turn and was down before it even got near me! Drats!

Next I headed to the Canadian Warplane Museum and climbed up an embankment at the rear and was rewarded with a magnificent view of the plane without having to look through the perimeter fencing. About an hour after it landed, it was scheduled to take the press for a short sight seeing tour. So I waited patiently and was rewarded with a great start up video with lots of smoke & noise! I couldn’t see it take off but I thought maybe I could catch a great shot of it coming back in for a landing. I repositioned myself at the south perimeter road and waited. Wouldn’t you know it, it took off on the east/west runway! Double Drats! I got out of the van and was going to put my camera gear in the back seat when I looked up it had turned south instead of north and flew right over top of my head! Woo Hoo! What glorious sight!

Two days later, I brought two 13 yr old grandsons and my son in law and we were the first ones to take the tour of the interior of the plane. Let me tell you…..for such a large plane, there’s not much room in there! You could tell the average airman was around 20 years old and probably didn’t weigh much than160 lbs. Squeezing my 6 ft, 250 lb frame through the galley was a hilarious sight indeed! (see picture!)

We are most fortunate to have one of two flying Lancaster Bombers in the world residing in our flying museum. It’s always nice to see them in the air so I was excited when my wife informed me that the Lanc & the B-25 Mitchell Bombers where going to be conducting a fly over of our Tim Hortons Football Stadium at the opening of the annual Labour Day Football Classic between the Hamilton TigerCats and the “dreaded “ Toronto Arrrrrrrgos!

Avro Lancaster Bomber (7,377 built):
Crew - 7
Wingspan - 102’
Power - 4 x 1,280 hp Rolls Royce Merlin V12 water cooled engines.
Ceiling - 21,400’
Range - 2,500 miles
Bomb Load - 14,000 lbs
Armament - 8 x .303 Browning Machine guns

B-25 Mitchell Bomber (9,816 built):
Crew - 6
Wingspan - 67’, 7”
Power - 2 x 1,700 hp Wright Cyclone 14 Cylinder Radial Engines
Ceiling - 24,000’
Range - 1,350 miles
Bomb Load - 3,000 lbs
Armament - 12-18 x .50 cal Machine guns, 75mm Canon, 2,000 lb torpedo

We parked on top of the “mountain” just above the stadium and sure enough, just before 6:30 pm. we saw the silhouettes of the two mighty warbirds!

They approached from the north, flew the length of the stadium then straight towards us before veering off to the east. They made one more pass then made a split maneuver. The B-25 went west and the Lanc came almost right over top of us offering some pretty amazing photo ops as it glistened in the late afternoon sun! I even grabbed a shot of the stadium with its jumbo screen which was televising the approach of the bombers…pretty damn cool if I do say so myself!

Sorry about my transgression in blogging about real planes, but I figure, if you like r/c planes, you gotta love the real deal too! Am I right?


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Sep 23, 2016, 04:07 AM
Full scale or 1/8 scale
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Very cool.

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