What can you expect on your iconic B-17 "Yankee Lady" flight?
You are part of an aircrew of ten joining with the flight crew of three, as you get your first glimpse of a World War II Boeing B-17G Heavy Bomber that you have longed to fly in. Shortly you'll be boarding the "Yankee Lady" and take your assigned crew position.
The engines have roared to life and you've taxxied out to the run-up area so the flight crew can complete the pre takeoff checklist. Your heart begins to beat a little faster as the flight crew performs the engine run-ups, magneto and propeller feathering checks.
The tower has cleared the flight for take-off. As the pilots advance the throttles, 4,800 horsepower roars to life and you begin moving down the runway. At around 90 knots the aircraft begins to lift off and suddenly you are airborne.
Today's flight will last about 30 minutes and will be at an altitude from 3,000 to 5,000 feet. This will allow for a comfortable ride and a clear view of the ground. The typical mission is to fly up the Detroit River with Detroit off our port wing (left) and Windsor, Ontario off our starboard (right).
Once you are airborne, you begin to move around the aircraft, checking out the various crew positions. You have made your way up to the nose and you're seated in the navigator's seat. Looking forward you see the Norden Bomb sight. In defense of the aircraft, the chin turret was operated by the Bombardier and the Navigator would operate cheek guns on the left and right side of the nose. Your next stop is in the cockpit. You look over the shoulders their shoulders as the pilot and co-pilot are constantly busy keeping the aircraft in level flight. Directly above your head is the top turret which was operated by the flight engineer.
You cross the walk way through the bomb bay, which could carry up to 4,000 pounds of bombs, to the radio room. The radio operator maintained contact with the other aircraft and flight crews. If required he would operate a waist gun if one of the crew members became injured. Leaving the radio room, you pass around the right side of the ball turret and take a glance inside. There was one crew member for each waist gun. How quick and how far away can you spot another aircraft? The windows are staggered so that they did not bump into each other while operating the guns. There were only 400 rounds of ammunition for each .50 caliber gun.
You have checked out all of the crew positions from the nose to the waist guns. All too soon, the flight engineer announces that you are to return to your crew position seats and prepare for landing. You know the runway is close because you hear the flaps and landing gear being lowered. Soon you see the ground getting closer and the familiar chirp as the tires touch down on the runway and you begin to slow down. Turning off the runway, the Yankee Lady begins taxiing to the hangar. Soon she comes to a stop, the engines are shut down and suddenly it's quiet. Your flight experience is over and you exit the aircraft.Click here to reserve your seat today!