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Everett Atkinson was only 19 when he enlisted for World War II. At 22 he became the aircraft commander of a B-17 Fortress and in charge of 10-men crew. Then, he was assigned to fly the B-29 Superfortress. Atkinson is now 90 years old and he recently welcomed back the B-29 he flew seventy years ago at when the aircraft visited Carbondale, Illinois.
, nicknamed Fifi, is part of the Commemorative Air Force that tours all over the country. The B-29 squadron of CAF is based in Addison, Texas.
According to Everett Atkinson, the B-29 Superfortress is advanced for its time, even if it has a lot of problems.
“It’s a special occasion today for me to be able to be here and found out that the airplane was coming in and I’m sure the active crew today, much younger young men, will never know what an experience it was for a young kid that was given the job of go do it,” Atkinson said. He also adds, “The B-29 turned out to be an airplane with major problems, especially with the engines. A lot of crashes from engine fires. And crews and planes were lost because of those failures. More crews and planes were lost to those matters than we lost in combat. My wife said years later, ‘If I’d have known how dangerous that B-29 was to fly I would have worried myself to death.’”
Atkinson is ecstatic to meet younger pilots who showed up with the B-29.
“I got a chance to meet with several of the young pilots in there at the desk. I’m very impressed with their interest in aviation and I hope that through visits like this, it will peak their interest in World War II or any world war, aviation was a factor and realize how much we accomplished with our airplanes during World War II with the odds against us.”
Preserve and value history by keeping the spirit of World War II airplanes alive. Warplanes manufactures big model planes from World War I and World War II. Display them in your home keep their legacy burning.
News source: jefferson.kfvs12.com
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As we all know, Japanese leaders gradually became desperate from June-September in 1945 and soon, World War II ended.
This glorious US victory over Japan is forever marked in history, and so are the brave heroes who fought in this epic battle. But the heroes weren’t just the courageous men or soldiers (http://bit.ly/ceRirt) who took part in the war. Some of these heroes were the warplanes which weren’t just tools but also guardians to those who survived. Some of these are the Consolidated B-32 Dominator, Grumman F8F Bearcat, Hawker Sea Fury, and Lockheed C-69 Constellation.
The B-32 Dominator was a four-engine heavy bomber powered by 4 x Wright R-3350-23 Duplex Cyclone 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines with two turbochargers. It could load up to ten crew, ten 12.7mm (.50 caliber) M2 heavy machine guns for self-defense and mounted in pairs in turrets.
The B-32 Dominator was requested by the US Air Force as a fail-safe design to the complicated, technology-laden B-29 Super fortress which was still in development. On September 19, 1944, first deliveries occurred though production delays did nothing to ensure the B-32‘s legacy.
In contrast, developmental and mechanical problems almost halted the entire B-32 project itself. Couple this with the fact that the B-29 arrived in number and it’s a wonder the B-32 ever flew. B-32 production was entirely cancelled with operational examples all disposed by the end of the war. Thus, no whole specimens were kept for display purposes, leaving the B-32 to live on in words and photographs.
A Grumman F8F Bearcat
Then there was the Grumman F8F Bearcat which was the pinnacle of the US piston-engine fighter design. Equipped with the powerful Double Wasp radial piston engine, the low-winged Bearcat proved a much smaller design with better storage and use on the US Navy’s aircraft and escort carriers compared to its predecessor, the Hellcat. The Bearcat also exhibited better deck handling and performance far better than the Hellcat. It was 20% lighter, about 50mph faster and had a 30% better rate-of-climb.
Despite its late entry into World War II, the Bearcat went on to serve the US Navy through many years. In fact, no fewer than 24 Bearcat squadrons would see operational status during the Bearcat‘s reign.
Hawker Sea Fury
In 1942, Hawker engineer Sydney Camm designed a replacement fighter for the Hawker Tempest but the new design was inspired from the Tempest except that it was a smaller and lighter version. The proposal for the new Hawker “Fury” fighter was presented to the British Air Ministry. First flight was on September 1, 1944.
The Sea Fury became the final piston-engine fighter to serve with the British Royal Navy before the arrival of carrier-based jet planes. On February 21 in 1945, the first Sea Fury flew. It was capable of loading two 4 x 20mm Hispano Mk V series cannons, 2000lbs of external mixed ordnance or up to 12 x 3″ (76mm) high-velocity, high-explosive rockets mounted under the wings.
Burma, Cuba, Egypt and Morocco were the other recipients of the Sea Fury. There were a total of 860 produced running from 1945 through 1955.
TWA Lockheed Constellation
Finally, the Lockheed Constellation equipped with 4 Wright radial engines, 123-foot wing span, triple-tail design and graceful dolphin shaped fuselage. It could load 4 crew personnel and up to 60 to 80 passengers. The long-range capabilities and internal loading capacity opened the series up to some specialized roles that became the PO-1 and VW-2 “Warning Star” systems that went on to become a grouping of EC-121 electronic warfare systems (Constellation systems were later re-designated to C-121).
In its day, the Constellation reigned as Queen of the Skies. It was the first aircraft to fly coast-to-coast non-stop and was pressurized. In April 1944, a C-69 Constellation made world headlines when Howard Hughes and Jack Frye of TWA shattered the transcontinental commercial record, piloting the largest land transport plane ever built from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 7 hours 3 minutes. “Connie” appeared in three wars which were World War II, the Korean War, and the war in Vietnam. A total of 856 “Connies” were built in 1943 and 1958. They were extensively used by both military and civilian airlines until the early 1960s.
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From WWI to the modern day, bombers have dominated the battlefield and led the path to victory. These are the best of the best. They are the top ten bombers of all time.
10. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
In 1937 the Boeing Aircraft Company built America’s first all-metal, four-engine heavy bomber, the legendary B-17 Flying Fortress.
9. Handley Page 0/100
Powered by two Rolls Royce engines with a speed of 79 mph, these 100-foot wingspan aircraft were able to deliver their 2,000 pounds of bombs with remarkable accuracy.
8. Junkers Ju-88
Believed by many to be the most important German bomber of World War II, the Ju-88 was in front-line service throughout the 1939-45 conflict. Its versatile design enabled it to be used as a bomber, dive bomber, torpedo bomber, heavy fighter and night fighter.
7. Tupelov Tu-95
This huge Soviet long-range bomber, nicknamed the Bear, was designed to carry up to four nuclear bombs to the U.S. mainland from bases in Russia.
6. Boeing B-47 Stratojet
The B-47 used swept-wing technology captured from Nazi Germany and an unusual tricycle undercarriage, which led many to think it would serve as no more than a research plane.
5. Avro Lancaster
The Lancaster was Britain’s most famous heavy bomber of World War II. Capable of carrying a bomb load of up to 22,000 pounds, Lancasters, which flew at night, pounded German cities and factories.
4. De Havilland Mosquito
Nicknamed the “Wooden Wonder,” the Mosquito was perhaps the most versatile aircraft to see action during World War II. As a bomber, it was also the fastest.
3. Boeing B-29 Super Fortress
The B-29 had a range of over 3,500 miles, an operational ceiling of 31,850 feet and a top speed of 358 mph. It could carry a huge payload of 20,000 pounds of bombs and was armed with 12 .50-caliber machine guns and a 20-mm cannon.
2. Northrop Grumman B-2 Stealth Bomber
The flying-wing concept was brought into the world of advanced stealth technology by Northrop with the B-2 Bomber.
1. Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
With a maximum speed of 650 mph, a range of over 8,000 miles and the capability to drop 70,000 pounds of bombs, the B-52 is the most lethal bomber in the world. It can also deliver nuclear weapons, cruise missiles and precision bombs.