The Collings Foundation Mission Briefing

Aviation History | History of Flight | Aviation History Articles, Warbirds, Bombers, Trainers, Pilots | The Collings Foundation Mission Briefing

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:

Updated: July 18, 2011 — 3:25 PM
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