B-17 Fuddy Duddy

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Great shot Eric (you're right, I'm going to have to make the trip to Chino one day !)

Thought I'd post write up I did on another forum about my trip in Fuddy Duddy back in 2005 ...sorry, being lazy and cant face all that typing !.

You guys are really lucky to have so many airworthy Forts and ones that you can go for a flight in as well !!

I wondered about going for a flight and 'ummmed' and 'ahhhed' for a long time before taking the plunge...

My advice ?...Dont think...do it !.

I've had two sorties in Fuddy Fuddy, once in 2004 and once 2005 both times at Oshkosh.

Talk about sensory overload...when you get to sit down in a live Fort with the engines running and feel the whole 'plane living, smell the smell, hear and feel the noise, sense the excitement of the other passengers, its quite a moment. You see the exposed control cables moving as the guy up front throttles up from tickover to move and start the turns.

The taxi out to the active, with creaks and groans of the undercart, the odd dab of brakes and a slight increase in revs to go around the taxi corners.

Then the final turn onto the active. S'funny, but nobody... not one single person.... says a thing as the levers are advanced to take off power..... You dont just hear the noise, you feel it !. Its a roar, its a rumble, its everywhere. Everything is alive and the feeling of tremendous power pulling you forward...totally different to a jet airliner acceleration, not as fast but in a league of its own !....its magical. After a while, there's a slight sway and you realise your'e airbourne.

The signal is given to to undo the lap straps and go walkabout. You suddenly realise that you're surrounded by grinning idiots !. Every one, but every one has gone into silly grin mode....and that includes you.....then every one without fail starts to shake hands and pat backs, saying things like "awesome", "aw man, yeah !"....and one or two may be silent (but you can still see the gleam in their eyes)

First trip is under the pilots and upto the bombadiers station at the pointy end. To get to the pilots you have to cross over the bomb bay and yes, its a mighty narrow bit of 'plane you have to walk over the bomb bay to get to the office. My hat goes off to the boys who had to do that walk in full flying kit and a walkaround oxy bottle !. You can see the ground below through the cracks where the bomb doors meet. Then you get to enter the front and see that solo sit waiting for you to sit in, directly behind the Nordon.

When you finally get to sit in that seat...and you look around... and realise that you are sitting in a 'Fort, with the roar of air through the fresh air vent vieing with the roar from the four big radials seemingly an arms length away though the side windows, its truly a humbling feeling. Oh yeah, your grin is now threatening to go into 'flip top head' mode !.

You dont know what to do first or next so instead you've gone into machine gun fire rate on the camera shutter clicking away, trying to capture every moment.

You wont, BUT....and its a very inmportant BUT, you will never, ever forget that time that you sat up there...trust me (anyone who'se flown in a 'Fort whether as crew or a fair paying passenger will back me up on this) every time you see a 'Fort in a film or in the flesh, you'll be instantly transported to its inside, cos you've been there.

Then its time to get back into the office and get the pilots views. Again, outstanding views looking over the leading edge of the wings with the Cyclones rumbling away at arms length....and just soaking up the atmosphere.

Back across the bomb bay catwalk and back through the radio section and into the waist area to see the view while holding onto the waist 50 Cals'. Relax, there will be other fanatics there to use your camera to take the obligatory shot of you crouching down behind the 50 cal.....and the guy with the camera never ever has to say 'Smile' !!!.

25 to 30 odd minutes of sheer sensory saturation, then its back to the seat and the final rumble as the wheels kiss the tarmac and you slow down for the short taxi back.

When you get out through that rear door, your feet dont seem to touch the ground....and they dont for a few weeks after either !.

Another funny thing is that on the bus trip to the flight, everyone is non stop chatting.....on the trip back, its like sitting in a library, no one speaks, all lost in their thoughts.

If you are going, go to an airshow....nope.....go to a big, really big airshow and then arrange for your flight half way through the event. You will not regret it.

I have one bit of advice, take plenty of film or lots of storage cards. ....and then you can have a cracking screen saver that'll be the envy of anyone you know, cos you where there, you took the pics and you wont be able to stop talking about it.

Trust me.
 

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A few more shots
 

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Last few
 

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Geedee, did you ride up front in the bombardiers position?

That was an outstanding place to view the world go by.

I flew on the Collings foundation B17 "9-0-9" back in 1994, and everything you described about your ride, I will agree with.
 
That'd be this seat then !

Yup, totaly fantastic experience and one that you cannot have in Europe....thats why I go to the States each year for a Warbird ride !.

If you've never sat on this seat when airbourne, then you have absolutely no-idea what you are missing, its an experience that will stay with you till the day they put you 6 feet under.
 

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Great pictures there GeeDee, do you go to airventure every year? Im usually there every year. I happen to be one of the lucky ones as I live 30 minutes down the road from Airventure.
 
Hey Jeff do you remember what Papa's Job was on the Fuddy Duddy?

michelle


Hello all,

I was searching on the Fuddy Duddy and came up with this great site.


A little story....

I will have to do some more research and look through some old photos but my grandfather flew this incredible aircraft. I am 34 now but around 20yrs ago? When they rebuilt this B17 to look like the Fuddy Duddy I was there. The original crew went down with the original Duddy but my Grandfather was part of another crew that flew this bird. They gather all the survivors and got them down to Geneso NY for the first flight as the Fuddy Duddy. I still remember looking around the inside of this plane and watching it take off with the crew. It was an amazing sight to see. They were all on the news that evening as well.

I will have to go to my moms and look for some pics.

My grandfather and father have both passed from cancer so unfortunately I have is whats left in my memory of it. I will get what I can for pics and scan them and post them. I do remember that 1 ring around the prop was unpainted for some time, but appears that is all done. What a great looking plane.

Jeff

EDIT: Well look at that!
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Fuddy Duddy, 2008 Calendar by Brian Lockett (Calendar) in History

I will just have to buy one up!
 

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