Monday, October 13, 2008

they flew the frontiers of freedom

A small group of World War II veterans flew over East Tennessee this afternoon in a B-17 Flying Fortress. They were accompanied by a few members of the local media. The Experimental Aircraft Association operates the bomber, raising funds by charging for flights all over the country. There will be five Knoxville flights per day on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving between 10:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Ground tours will be available after the flights. If you go, maybe you will also be amused by the image of a stick figure getting crushed by the gate outside the Tac Air terminal.

The plane has several gun turrets, the most interesting of which is a ball turret on the underside. Once we were airborne, we could explore the inside of the B-17 and peek into the cockpit.

My favorite part of the trip was crawling down into the nose turret, where bombardiers once sighted their targets. From there I could clearly see the propellers on either side. I happened to look straight down just as we were passing over Neyland Stadium.

It was an honor to share today's experience with members of the Greatest Generation. The flight was especially memorable for the cameraman from WVLT-TV. It was his first airplane flight ever.

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Anonymous Ryan Kazinec said...

What a great experience Frank. I'd love to go for a flight and great picture of Neyland by the way.

Anonymous Mom said...

"Flying the Frontiers of Freedom" was a slogan your Dad used when helping a Fordham classmate run for Yonkers city council in the 1960s.

No fear of heights I see -- a thrilling experience. Great photos.

Enjoyed this blog posting,


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