Here’s How You Fly The B-17 – It’s Not Simple

Here’s How You Fly The B-17 – It’s Not Simple | World War Wings Videos

U.S. Air Force / Public Domain

WWII aviation training videos are pure treasures. They transport you back to a time of knobby gadgets and youthful bravado. The young men training and being trained were always fresh faced and chipper. They had an air of both humor and serious focus. They might barely have needed to shave yet, but they got things done.

Hollywood Actor Arthur Kennedy Narrated Videos

Arthur Kennedy, left, trains a new B-17 pilot. | Jeff Quitney / YouTube

The information presented in the videos is also phenomenally thorough. In this Flying Fortress B-17 training video with Arthur Kennedy, Air Force Captain and Hollywood actor, everything from tedious instrument checks to signaling the ground crew is covered. It was complex. Every part, every person, had to do their job exactly right.

If perhaps you don’t master the art of flying a B-17 after watching this video, your appreciation for these heroic crews will at least be tripled.

The Flying Fortress Was Crewed By 10 – Everyone Was Important

Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” levels off for a run over target. Photo shows the chin turret with .50 caliber machine guns featured in later models. The B-17 weighed about 60,000 lbs., carried a bomb load of 6000 lbs., at a speed of approximately 300 miles per hour. | Unknown / Public Domain

The Flying Fortress was no easy beast. It was definitely not something that just one person could handle. With a crew of two pilots, a bombardier, navigator, radio-operator, and five gunners, it was just over 74 feet with a span of almost 104 feet. The B-17 was massive, taking a little bit of time to fire up all four engines.

The B-17 Was Iconic

B-17s in flight over Europe. | U.S. Air Force / Public Domain

Luckily for the Air Force, they had the talent of Arthur Kennedy to guide them through it all in these amazing videos. The B-17 went on to build a solid, fearsome reputation surrounding its durability. There’s no doubt, though, that the pilots and crews who performed remarkable feats in the B-17 were men of outstanding quality. The history speaks for itself. The video just reinforces it.

Watch the video below to learn how to fly it!

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