Detroit- My flights in a WW11B-17G Yankee Lady Bomber

I’ve flown twice in Yankee Lady,

a WWII B17G bomber plane housed at The Yankee Air Museum located at Willow Run Airport, west of Detroit.

Bob Hynes, the museum’s volunteer PR Manager, aviator, and TV & radio broadcaster, invited me to go up. This would be the first flight for a new engine, and he wanted me to get a feel for being in the plane before I edited some footage for the museum.

The old plane, riddled with bullet holes, lumbered off the ground. The pilot at the time was 72. The aircraft was one of the loudest environments I have ever been in.

Fuel was cheaper at the Oakland County Airport, so we flew there to gas up. Landing at the destination Bob, pilot, mechanic, and I exited the plane to inspect the new engine.

There was something leaking. The mechanic investigated and determined that all was OK. Yankee Lady took on aviation fuel, and then we all climbed back in for the return flight.

I sat in the nose gunner position, the noisiest area of all, during part of the return flight.  As we circled to land Bob suggested I move back into the body of the plane. He said there was a possibility that landing could be even louder.

We landed safely. I took a second flight which was also uneventful.

After the first flight Bob handed me two videotapes of footage of the plane shot by WXYZ-TV, where he had hosted a morning program from 1966-1971. I had a small budget to edit the footage into marketing programs for the Museum.

Please review the program.

Music: “Rumpus in Richmond” – Duke Ellington 1940

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