B-17 Gallery   
This gallery was most recently updated Sunday, September 13, 2010

All pictures shared here were taken by Job Conger. Visitors to this site are welcome to copy them for individual use. For larger, higher resolution versions in exchange for nominal support for this bombastic review (this site does not pay for itself with visitor support, but it should)  please write jobconger@eosinc.com Include the name of this gallery and the number of the picture in your query.   
    These pictures are thumbnailed for faster loading. Click on any for a larger view and "Back" in the upper left of your computer screen to return to the smaller image. 

Pictures are pressented in reverse order so visitors view the newest additions first. This way, you don't have to slog through many pictures to get to the latest additions.

To minimize time for pictures in each gallery to load to your computer, I'm limiting pages to 60 or fewer. As I add more pictures of a type, I will add additional gallery pages. I've already added a B-17 gallery 2 to this series. Look for a link to it at the bottom of this page.

 

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57.  Flying left seat was Dean Robnett. It was thanks to his courtesy I was able to take picture 6 above.
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58.  Jack Adney was co-pilot. The entire crew were as patient and accommodating as any I've flown with, and the fligiht with "Texas Raiders" was one of the most unforgettable warbird experiences of my life.
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53.  From the navigator and bombardier's "office" up front, this is the view from the navigator's table.
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54.  I have never seen a picture like this, taken looking back from inside the Astrodome. So I decided to correct that situation and took this picture.
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55.  From the right side of the forward compartment.
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56.  This is a color picture transformed to black & white. Another passnger was in the bombardier's seat on final. I was incredibly lucky -- and priviledged -- to be in the airplane at all, and the view from the nose was breathtaking!

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49.  This is the view with me seated in the pilot seat, looking left. It's amazing that pi and co-pi looked forward to see the engines.  It was easier to see which engine was in trouble (though accoutrements like tachometers and cylinder head temp gauges must have helped) but the likelihood of catching pieces of "the Wright stuff (the engines were made by the Wright Company) must have been great in combat

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50.  Looking left from the  radio room.  In years of meeting them os official media and as "just another guy with a camera," I have never encountered a discourteous volunteer, or one who didn't seem happy to be with the airplane.
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51.  With my head and camera sticking out of the dorsal hatch of the radio room, this is the view. We were warned to take off our glasses and empty shirt pockets if we tried this. It was good advice.

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52.  From the bombardier's chair, this is the view as we entered a gentle bank to port.

 

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45. "Texas Raiders" featured in this grouping was photographed before, during and after a flight in this aircraft at the Bloomington, Illinois air show during the summer of 2001.
    For more information about this excellent restoration (I wouldn't say this if they had painted it light grey and called it "aluminum.") visit their web site
www.gulfcoastwing.org   
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46. I was publishing Springfield Skyways and brought samples to share. The Airshow Director Dave Keim was iimpessed enough to permit me aboard for a VIP and media flight.

 

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47. While the crew preflighted the airplane, I took this picture. During startup and takeoff I rode in the radio room, probably the roomiest place in the airplane.

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48.  Today, the renamed Commemorative Air Force, continues to delight aviation enthusiasts when their aircraft appear at air shows. From the pilot's seat, this is the view forward.
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41. The ball turret with two (non-operating) Browning 50 calibre machine guns is a part of aviation warfare unique to World War II aircraft manufactured by the US aircraft industry.
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42. Only the shortest enlisted flight crew candidates could serve in the ball turret. The brave soldier sat on his back using the red handles to rotate, raise and lower the turret's weapons. His head rested where the straps are, backed up by the closed hatch.


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43. An EAA flight crew generously explained the turret to me, and we were both glad we had not been born short and aged between 18 and 43 during those calamitous years of 1941 --1945.

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44.  Sincere thanks to the EAA members connected to this airplane and to the local EAA Chapter 770 who sponsored its appearance at SPI.

 

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37.  These four pictures

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38.  are close-ups of
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39. The EAA fellow (picture 13a) asked if he could take my picture, part of the policy for visitors whose cameras weigh more than half a pound. Sure. And this is the picture he took.
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40. Tail gunners entered the turret from the fuselage after takeoff. His parachute was left in the airplane. If the crew was required to exit, he positioned the turret with guns pointing down, re-entered the fuselage, strapped on his chute and hit the silk. More ball turretl gunners died in combat than any other B-17 crew members.
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33. This picture has been retouched.
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34. This picture has not been retouched.
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35. This picture has been retouched.
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36.
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29. This view is something of a photo cliche, so to speak, to coin a phrase, but the sky always seems to be different in each picture.
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30. The plane returned to the air in April 2006 following its California landing gear collapse.

 

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31. Earnest camera guy in the middle and a healthy portion of the rest of the airplane are reflected in the propeller boss (the round dome in the middle of the propeller).

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32.  "Aluminum Overcast" Obvious to close observers is a fact explained by the crew of the CAF B-29 "Fi Fi" which I rode in years ago, the fact that the turbo-supercharger shown here is a non-functioning shape, painted to resemble a working example. Restored heavy bombers never engage equipment that -- while necessary at combat altitude over hostile ground -- is not needed at today's cruise altitudes of 10,000 feet or less.

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25. As I started to leave, I heared a vaguely familiar voice and was delighted to meet my grade school pal John Forneris who kindly posed for this picture. His father flew B-17s in World War II. I knew his dad, but I never knew he flew B-17s. A lot of veterans didn't talk about those days.

 

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26. "Aluminum Overcast" returns to the apron in front of First Class Air after a sortie with paying passengers.

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27. A crew member waved the pilot into a parking space. On the right is the EAA souvenir trailer which travels via ground tow from destination to destination

 

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28. Engines stopped. You can tell they just stopped because the props on the left wing (as you view it here) have not been moved to match the props on the right.

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21. This is the helpful EAA crew member who showed me around the airplane.
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22.  This gentleman is a shoe rpairman in Springfield by day and a uniform collector (among many pursuits) when he's not loitering around the hardware and adding welcome, truly appreciated history to the scene.

 

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23.  Another member of the uniform collectors' organization. Great bunch of people!

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24. This woman (a volunteer guide at the Abe Lincoln Presidential Museum in historic downtown Lincolnville -- make that Springfield -- brought her demised husband's mission log and a picture of him taken with his flight gear on. We didn't tell her, but I hope she knows, she and other sweethearts like her were why good men fought so hard to come home.

 

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17. EAA's "Aluminum Overcast arrives at SPI, Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois.

 

 

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18. Just after engine shut down.

 

 

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19.  "Aluminum Overcast" flown by the Experimental Airplane Association visited Springfield in July 1999.

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20. The crew were kind enough to button up the bird and take the ladders away at my request, so I could take some cleaner pictures.

 

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13. "Sentimental Journey" at Springfield, Illinois' Capital Airport.

 

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14. "Sentimental Journey" The people who maintain this immaculate machine deserve a lot of credit for keeping the natural metal finish of late WWII 17s. One popular B-17 flying today has been painted with light grey paint which is as true to truth as white shark is to Nevada. "Sentimental Journey" speaks volumes about authenticity and about the men and women who fly and maintain her.

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15. "Sentimental Journey" banks to the crowd during a flyby at Springfield Air Rendezvous 1987. The sky was pure luck! This earnest camera guy salutes flight crews who tilt wings in the direction of the crowd during fly-bys. Sure makes for better pictures and it always thrills the crowds.
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16. A big bird homeward bound, Mother Nature is as much a part of the success of pictures of airplanes in flight, and while she seems to overwhelm this view of "Sentimental Journey" winging southwest, without the B-17, this is not a picture I'd share.

 

 

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9. Maintained by what was long called the Confederate Air Force, "Texas Raiders" was hotographed at Springfield Air Rendezvous 1989. A recent welcome  note from flight engineer  Jerry Hobbs pro9vided the names of pilot and copilot (pictures 14 & 15). He also shared the good news that after being off flight status since December 2001, TR is nearing the end of major maintenance and should return to the air during the summer of 2007. 

 

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10. Combat airplanes are not designed to be impressive in looks, but on this crystal clear morning in 1989, "Texas Raiders" sure came through that way!

 

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11. Same photo as on left, slightly retouched.

 

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12. This picture of EAA's "Aluminum Overcast" has been retouched.

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5. Another view of "Texas Raiders"

 

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6. "Texas Raiders" ball turret

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7.  A retouched view of "Texas Raiders" at the 1989 Springfield Air Rendezvous.
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8. "Texas Raiders" streams harmless smoke from a simulated engine fire above smoke unleashed by ground bound pyrotechnics at SAR '89.
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1. Before the Air Force Museum in Dayton relocated to its current location, many aircraft were displayed outside like this B-17.
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2. Another view taken in June 1969. Note the Atlas ICBM in the background.
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3. One of millions of reasons why at least half of the United States still considers English our everyday language, former ETO based B-17 pilot Eugene Gilbert poses at the USAF Museum during a 1969 visit. Gene Gilbert died in 2003 and is interred in a Springfield, Illinois cemetery. It was my privilege and pleasure to know him and his son, Robert.

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4. As morning opens the sky at  Springfield Air Rendezvous 1989, "Texas Raiders" awaits the day parked next to a P-51.

A new gallery of B-17G "Sentimental Journey" flown by the Arizona Wing, Commemorative Air Force during its August 30/31, 2008 visit to Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois has been posted here

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