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.
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 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.
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!