We finally got the B-17ís ball turret working again after years of searching for parts (guns are not operational). Our mechanics installed new wiring, got the trucks turning and made the control yoke operational. With all the hard work, it is nice to see the ball rotate so smooth after sitting idle for over 60 years.
Its scary and a thrill at the same time – sitting in this small ball with your knees up around your ear lobes, hanging from the bottom of the plane. One comes to quickly understand what it might have been like to be a ball turret gunner during WWII ñ scanning the skies for enemy fighters and watching bombs drop to their targets thousands of feet below.
One of our pilots, Taigh Raimey, had the chance to try out the ball turret while on a stop-to-stop flight in California. Here is a video of his experience: