Monday, January 05, 2015

For All you wing-wipers out there

Then when winning was the most important thing:

This is what it took to get a B-17 in the air.


  1. Actually that discounts the cooks, armorers, medics, MD's, Quartermasters, laundrymen , parachute riggers and the 100000 people in the supply chain that went all the way back to the factory's,ammo plants, foundries , tire plants and oil refineries. The US War production board estimated that in 1943 it took 100000 men and women to get ONE B-17 fully loaded with a trained crew over a target. Remember that every combat loaded B-17 was 275000 hand built and assembled parts + plus gas guns bombs and ammo; and 90% of the work was done by women who had never held a power tool before going to work in a war industry. OH! and we would do well to remember that the same women built ,tested, packed and transported 98% of everything else manufactured between 1942 and1945.---Ray

  2. It would be kind of crowded in that plane right before take-off wouldn't it?

  3. I think what you see there is the crew in the first two rows wearing their flight jackets. The singleton in the third row is most likely the crew chief, the fourth row is the maintenance crew which would include specialists for the engines, hydraulics, flight controls and electrical/avionics. In front of the right wing with their vehicle and bomb cart are the armourers. In front of the left wing are the ground handlers with the mule and a start cart. Back of the left wing is the fuel truck while the small tank truck behind the right wing is most likely an oiler. Round engines do not have seals on the valve stems; engine oil is allowed to leak around the stem in order to lubricate it. I was taught that 4 gallons per hour was the maximum allowable rate. On the DC3 we used a huge funnel and a 5 gallon bucket to refill the oil tanks and those are smaller engines.