Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Wings of Freedom

Last week, I throttled back so I could have a chance to get some much-needed rest.

The day I got home, I was happy to find that a traveling exhibit, The Wings of Freedom, had come to the regional airport. I haven't been to an air show in years, so I ponied up the $12 for a ticket and took off!

Sadly, I couldn't actually ride in the planes. Tickets were $450 for a flight on one of the bombers and $2500-$3500 for a trip in the Mustang. If only...

Midwest Aviation is a flying company at the Barkley Regional Airport.
Many thanks to them for hosting the event!

1943 recon and command Jeep.

The B-24 Liberator. This particular plane was used by the RAF and abandoned after the war.
The Indian Air Force rebuilt her, which eventually led to her current status as a living history plane.

Names of those who served on the plane.


Retractable ball turret. 

Bomb bay entrance.


That's one fine-looking pony.

This is the last Mustang in the world with dual controls.
Eisenhower flew over Normandy in such a plane to coordinate the D-Day invasion.

The most famous bomber of WWII: the mighty B-17!
This bomber is the last one in the world that still flies.

Me with Mr. Miller, a veteran. He was an engineer on a B-17 crew, responsible for repairs mid-flight.

Nose gunner seat.


Bomb bay.

View through the open canopy.

The yellow tank is for oxygen. This was before the days of pressurized cabins.
At 32,000 feet, crew was both oxygen-deprived and freezing cold.
Each man had to fly 25 missions before they could go home on leave,
only to come back and do it again and again until the war was over.

The infamous ball turret, the most dangerous place to fly.
Unlike the Liberator, it could not be retracted into the plane. The door wouldn't open unless it was turned to the position you see now. Several gunners lost their lives when the turret gears broke and the landing gear failed.
Pilots had to make the hard choice to sacrifice one man to save the rest of the crew.

The "Mighty 8th" (8th USAF) suffered more casualties than any other bomber group in WWII.

1942 Jeep.

There were all kinds of interesting people to meet. 

Me and Mr. Puckett, another war veteran.
Someday I'll be telling my children what it was like to meet these heros.

I had some great videos of the planes starting up and taking off, but it seems that my computer doesn't want to upload footage shot on an iPhone. Sorry about that. If I can figure out a way to correct the problem, I'll do another post.

After I got home I decided to do some typing on my revamped KMM. My first session was on the back porch.

Work station #1.

The first table was the perfect height for typing on a standard. Unfortunately, it shakes a lot if you're really in the zone. This results in a lot of escapement problems which makes reading and editing the text very difficult. Too bad, the weather was great. I decided to move into the living room.

Station #2

My KMM's been resting here since I got it home from St. Louis. It's a little too short, but it's much sturdier and handles the weight like a champ. No escapement problems at all. For the time being, I'm content to sit on the edge of the couch if it will result in cleaner documents. If Hemingway could write standing up, I should be able to handle this.

The KMM works flawlessly now, although I've realized that I'm uber-protective of my machines. I noticed some faint imprints on the platen, despite using a protective sheet, and wondered if I'd done something wrong. Guess it comes with the territory.

And now for something completely different.

Who likes cruising on the river after a day of fishing? This guy!
No, it's not a "selfie." It's a dynamic photograph.

Power to the pen!

1 comment:

  1. Such great aircraft! Thanks for the photos.
    As for the typewriter, the Royal Escapement is finicky at the best of times. On a not-so-stable table I'd imagine it would be downright awful.