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Ready For Flight by Andy Mueller

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The Cockpit of the beautifully restored and still airworthy B-17G called “Liberty Belle”. What a treat to have finally been able to see the entire interior of this plane. It is amazing how deceivingly small and cramped it is. I cannot even imagine to fly in one with FLAK going off all around and fighter planes trying to shoot you down, with no climate control system whatsoever. A couple of veterans that flew on B-17’s in WWII were at the airport, got to sign the Pilot’s Logbook and shared some of their harrowing stories, including having to endure temperatures at -30F. Amazing, simply amazing. At first I found the 2 pairs of gloves on the “dash” a little distracting, but I really like them there now. Best viewed in Large.

This is an HDR image created from a sigle RAW file using ReDynaMix. Image was further post-processed in CS3.

Taken with Nikon D300 and Tokina 12-24mm lens.

Tags

airport, airplane, liberty, seat, aircraft, andy, bell, cockpit, dials, gloves, hdr, b17, fortress, bomber, buttons, belle, pilot, wwii, veterans, tokina, mueller, andreas, levers, b17g, air force, nikon d300, flying fortress, 12 24mm, liberty belle

Comments

  • Gavin J Hawley
    Gavin J Hawleyalmost 5 years ago

    Wonderful shot Andy. They sure did have it basic back then.
    and they were brave men.

  • Braver than we sometimes think. As I saw this plane today, I can’t even imagine attempting to bail out, when she is plummeting to the ground, after having been shot up. The skin of the fuselage would barely stop a beebee. Thanks for stopping by!

    – Andy Mueller

  • Marvin Collins
    Marvin Collinsalmost 5 years ago

    Excellent!!

  • Thank you so much Marvin!

    – Andy Mueller

  • Michael  Bermingham
    Michael Bermi...almost 5 years ago

    It is a shame that they had to put in some modern avionics…But I suppose that cant be helped!
    I have been inside a Lancaster and I agree with you totally about the space…. It is exceedingly small.

  • Just imagine trying to bail out with all of your gear on, as the plane is spiraling to earth. Just think THAT!

    – Andy Mueller

  • Vicki Ferrari
    Vicki Ferrarialmost 5 years ago

    This opens my eyes to a new perspective about something I had never really fully thought of before, the human element to being surrounded by ‘flak’, as you call it… it brings it home as to how scary it must have been for those brave pilots…. and how talented they were, to boot.
    Re your photograph, fantastic work Andy, and I am so glad that you left those gloves in…. they just add that human element to your whole image.

  • Oh Vickie I don’t know if you really know what “FLAK” is, but it must have been horrifying. Essentially they are shells, that explode in the vicinity of the plane, and scatter shrapnel all around, designed to tear through the plane, engines and sadly also it’s occupants. Flak means “Flugabwehrkanone” (Aircraft Defense Cannon – directly translated). Some pilots entered in their logbooks that sometime the FLAK was so heavy, that you could have walked from cloud to cloud, it was THAT thick. Thanks for the comment!

    – Andy Mueller

  • Michael  Bermingham
    Michael Bermi...almost 5 years ago

    Oh and I forgot to mention their “New” seats.
    lol
    They didnt have room for padding what with all their parachutes and gear.

  • Yes, very true, the parachute essentially was the seat cushion.

    – Andy Mueller

  • wayne51
    wayne51almost 5 years ago

    Andy that is a really Nostalgic shot of a well restored cockpit. The people that flew these and other planes in combat certainly did it a bit rudimentary by todays standards. Great shot. Wayne

  • Thank you so much Wayne! And yes, almost primitive …. but it did get the job done!

    – Andy Mueller

  • Michael  Bermingham
    Michael Bermi...almost 5 years ago

    Imagine being a Ball turret gunner then mate….No parachute!

  • You should have seen how tiny the access hatch to the ball turret is. Those guys must have been tiny! And yes, no parachute. The tailgun position also looked just about impossible to get out of, you’d have to cimb someway forward and make it passed the rear wheel. I was surprised how small the bomb bay really was. They had 4 mock bombs loaded, didn’t like she could have held THAT many more. But I see the footage of a stream of bombs being released all the time … Can’t quite figure out how that was possible?

    – Andy Mueller

  • Vicki Ferrari
    Vicki Ferrarialmost 5 years ago

    Thanks Andy, no, I didn’t realise what ‘flak’ was but now that I do, even more horrifying thought to be surrounded by something so terrifying and life threatening… it must have been so interesting to hear the stories from the original pilots. And What Shifty (and you) said about the seats, re parachutes were it, incredible…. these fellas were made of tough stuff!

  • Angel Perry
    Angel Perryalmost 5 years ago

    Wow! Lucky you! How cool that you got to go inside! Awesome shot!

  • Thank you Angel, it was really neat to see. Finally, the third year I see her I get to climb aboard.

    – Andy Mueller

  • Michael  Bermingham
    Michael Bermi...almost 5 years ago

    It was all on the size of the Bomb mate. The ones you see raining down from a B-17 in large numbers would’ve been the 100 lb bombs. I think they could carry something like 24 or so of those.

  • Yeah I suppose you are right ….. I will be creating a slideshow of images from this beauty, so you will see tons more … I KNOW you won’t mind one bit !!!!

    – Andy Mueller

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