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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 3:22 pm 
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Thank you for sharing the photos, Jim!

When watching the "Belle" being painted and the details of the markings applied earlier this year, I did chuckle a bit how they purposely decided to leave the stencils off the prop blades on the number 1 engine (since because in original photos/footage from around/after the 25th mission, they had by that time worn off on those particular blades, but were still present on the prop blades on all of the other three engines at the time). To me, it is one of those items that should have just been put on anyway, since with everything being so precise and executed to such perfection, with no signs of "patina"/combat use, it just looks like they forgot to put them on (similar feelings toward how they purposely used a lighter shade of OD on the control surfaces, to reflect the fading that occurred originally - as it is, it just looks like a paint choice, rather than a result of combat-use/weathering). The exhibit overall looks fantastic!


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 8:06 am 
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Looks like they had to move a bunch of airplanes out of the hangar to make room. Anyone have any idea when/if they're planning on putting them back in any time soon?


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:16 pm 
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Rob W wrote:
Looks like they had to move a bunch of airplanes out of the hangar to make room. Anyone have any idea when/if they're planning on putting them back in any time soon?

Maybe they will go into storage with ShooShooBaby.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Last time I was there (November) they were all spread out in the other hangars.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 5:25 pm 
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The Mustang and Thunderbolt were in the Vietnam Hangar...I didn't go down to the other two this trip. Years ago (1980s) I did a behind the scenes tour and the docent took us to the "model room". It was a 1/48 or 1/72 scale model of the Museum with all the aircraft arranged for best fit. It was impressive...makes me wonder if they are still using it. The footprint hasn't changed...just swapped B-17s. anyway...

weird seeing nice, unbent BB doors :)
ImageDSC_2443 by jim harley, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2275 by jim harley, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2280 by jim harley, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2541 by jim harley, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2420 by jim harley, on Flickr

ImageDSC_2419 by jim harley, on Flickr

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 5:27 pm 
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And then there was one...

ImageDSC_2520 by jim harley, on Flickr

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:15 pm 
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Two questions. It was made mention of the spent shell(shells?) in the LH side of the nose, that you can clearly see in Jims picture. What is that square white thing on top of the shell casing?
Second is, why is there only one victory marking on the RH waist gunners window when there is two in the wartime picture Jim took of Stuka and Capt James Verinis?


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:06 pm 
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The markings are a little different than what we have come to expect. The restoration team restored her to how she appeared after her 25th mission but before her war bond tour. A great many markings, including that second kill marking, were added for the tour.

As for the white thing, I BELIEVE it is the bombardier's knee cushion. It is roughly the same size as the adjustable wood piece forward of station 2. Many early Fs didn't come with a seat for the bombardier, and I know for a fact that the Belle didn't have one while in combat. That said, most photos I have show early-F bombardier's using old pilot's seat cushions. I dunno.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 2:00 pm 
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lucky52 wrote:
Were the B-17 bomb bays painted gray or does it just look that way?


It's Neutral Gray, same color as the underside, which is correct. For the most part, B-17 Bomb Bays were either either Neutral Gray (most camouglaged aircraft) or left bare metal. Note that the only other color used inside the Belle is the correct Dull Dark Green. We're used to seeing restored warbirds painted light "Interior Green" (often referred to as "Zinc Chromate Green") mostly because restored warbirds require the paint for long-term protection and corrosion control, but this isn't correct for a wartime Fort. My friend Karl Hauffe (who wrenched on Sentimental Journey and consulted on the Belle's restoration) explored the Belle in Memphis back in 1979, back before any restoration work was ever done..his photos comfirm that the bomb bay was neutral gray. During her first restoration in the early 80s, the Belle was sprayed "Interior Green" inside from nose to tail. The USAF Museum restoration staff stripped here back to bare metal inside and out, and started over.

Here are a couple of Karl's photos of the Belle's Bomb Bay, taken in 1979 when the interior was still 100% original (although heavilly stripped and vandalized.) The original Neutral Gray is still quite visible.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Rob W wrote:
Looks like they had to move a bunch of airplanes out of the hangar to make room. Anyone have any idea when/if they're planning on putting them back in any time soon?


Everything that has been moved has been noted here for anyone wondered what had to be moved.

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/ ... I-Gallery/


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 4:46 pm 
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I wonder how the WWII gallery will end up getting rearranged once all the dust settles. The corner where the Belle is used to be primarily devoted to the Mediterranean Theatre with the B-24, MC-200, A-36, Beaufighter and Spit V all grouped together. The opposite area focused on the ETO with Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby as the anchor. I'm assuming now that the Belle display is complete, the museum will get the rest of the aircraft back into the WWII gallery in some sort of cohesive, chronological order.

According to the website, the MC-200, AT-9, and Bf-109G-10 are in storage. I hope that's only temporary..especially the Macchi and the Jeep. Those are real rarities. I don't see the Fiesler Storch listed at all..wonder what became of it.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 5:44 pm 
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[quote="JimH"I did a behind the scenes tour and the docent took us to the "model room". It was a 1/48 or 1/72 scale model of the Museum with all the aircraft arranged for best fit. It was impressive...makes me wonder if they are still using it. The footprint hasn't changed...just swapped B-17s. anyway...[/quote]

I saw this on a "Behind The Scenes" tour back in the mid 90s. Note that this model reflects the old configuration when the B-36 was still on display in the Airpower Gallery. It was finally moved when the third building was opened in 2003, and the Airpower Gallery solely devoted to WWII. Note also a paper cutout of a second B-29. The docent told us this was because at one point the Smithsonian was considering sending the Enola Gay to Dayton, and they were wondering if it would fit.

Image

We were also shown this model, a display concept for "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby." Obviously built when the plane was still being restored, before the decision had been made to paint her Olive Drab.

Image

SN


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 6:12 pm 
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That brings back some memories, thanks Steve. I remember taking a tour in the mid 70's and the guide said the museum was built around the B-36 and it would never be moved again... I'm glad it has evolved.

Jim

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 7:56 pm 
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Steve Nelson wrote:
We were also shown this model, a display concept for "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby." Obviously built when the plane was still being restored, before the decision had been made to paint her Olive Drab.

Image

SN

Ha! I recognize that - the old Lindberg 1/64 scale kit. Wonder if the builder put in the electric motors to spin the props? :lol:
Nice weathering job.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Thanks Steve.I hope the interior stuff some what survived being painted over.


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