PDA

View Full Version : How to ditch a B-17 F



aostling
10-28-2007, 01:57 AM
My father, who was a mechanical engineer for Boeing from 1937-77, was given this B-17 Field Service Manual. I suppose there were thousands printed, one for every plane at least. It's 550 pages describe just about everything except the engines. It even tells you how to fly the plane. Here is how to bring it down, in case of emergency.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/cover.jpg


http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/ditching1.jpg


http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/ditching2.jpg


http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/ditching3.jpg


If anyone wants to model the plane just let me know -- I'm happy to provide any details which this book can provide.

aostling
10-28-2007, 02:18 AM
Just a few other pics.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/dedication.jpg


http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/bombcontrols.jpg


http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/starter.jpg

dp
10-28-2007, 02:40 AM
This is going to be very handy. :)

Actually, it's quite interesting and truly meant to save lives. What a time it was. They were the greatest generation - of that I have no doubt.

On a lighter note: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SraRU5oD17c

It wasn't all work, but work was never far away. If we started today we could not in our lifetimes repay the debt we owe them who survive and made the world free. We have a friend who was a crewman aboard the "Racy Tomato" (A B-24 Liberator). It was lost in the English Channel but after he'd returned to the US. He has chilling and endlessly fascinating stories to tell. We're losing them to time and with them these important stories of the days of their lives they spent over Europe when Europe was very much in need them.

If it isn't already it should be a project of the EU to acknowledge and record the effort of brave men and women from around the world that gave so much to save Europe from itself.

Forrest Addy
10-28-2007, 04:53 AM
Test pilots ditched a civilian version of the B-17 back in 2002 in Elliot Bay. Fresh from a complete restore at the Boeing Aerospace museum - SPLASH right in the drink. Most everyone I know with a feeling for airplanes first grinned then flinched in reflexive pain.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/64484_main29.shtml

I wonder if they read the book.

Asquith
10-28-2007, 05:32 AM
One of the lesser-known aspects of WW2 production was the vast quantity of high quality technical illustrations produced. I came across a book with many excellent examples:-

http://www.amazon.com/Graphic-War-Aviation-Drawings-Illustrations/dp/1550464248

It might seem strange to have lavished all that attention on pictures during those dark days, but it has to be borne in mind that the best possible information had to be conveyed to hundreds of thousands of inexperienced people thrown into making, operating and maintaining unfamiliar high tech equipment.

The aero-engine illustrations in particular are real works of art. I have some excellent examples before me in ‘Rolls-Royce Piston Engines -a designer remembers’ by A A Rubbra: publisher Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. I may have mentioned the RRHT before, and make no apologies for doing so again. They’ve gone to the trouble of producing some excellent books for the likes of us, preserving the memory of designers, builders, developers, menders, flyers, etc.

Asquith
10-28-2007, 06:15 AM
This has got me thinking. It’s now very much easier to produce graphics and text, yet so many instruction manuals (e.g. for DVD players and the like) are incomprehensible. Not just because they’re written with lawyers in mind.

I had a rental car which, bizarrely, had the radio/CD player controls/displays combined with the heating and ventilation controls. Baffled, I took recourse to the handbook, and found that the operating instructions for the system occupied no less than 48 pages.

On my fridge, there’s a dial with numbers from 1 to 6, with no clue as to which is colder. The handbook helpfully says ‘Adjust the temperature using the adjustment control’.
Is it me?

John Stevenson
10-28-2007, 06:42 AM
No Asquith, we are living in an icon era.
The only trouble is no one has standardised on them or even printed a list out.
Some designer somewhere decides that a squiggle with a brush laid across it means erase but someone else decides that it's something different.

As you say we have better graphics skills and presentation but we are now talking in 16 x 16 pixel icons.

Just look at the icons on any of the programs you are not too familar with and can you name them all? Do any look like similar named icons on other programs ?

Our first VCR had about 5 buttons on the front, play, pause, stop fast forward and rewind, worked a treat.
The one he had recently couldn't work without a remote and had 13,764 buttons [ approx ]

The DVD player is now linked to the TV, stereo, tape deck, radio, fridge and microwave. We now have 22 remotes and by the time you have found what you want the program has finished and your dinner is burnt.

The last TV we bought I asked in the shop to show me one that could run perfectly without a remote from the front panel, there wasn't one, every TV had to have a remote.

So now we have the remote bolted to a Scammell gearbox at the side of the chair so it can't wander away.

.

Alistair Hosie
10-28-2007, 07:37 AM
John I would gladly say come to Scotland to live but we are just the same.My Dad was badly crushed when a train he was on was bombed and he got trapped between the carriage and the tunnel it had half entered .He was in hospitaltwo years.My uncle was in france with his schoolboy chums now young men when a German plane came down from the clouds and mowed them all down he and one other were the only ones to survive although badly shot and injured .He never til his dying day forgot the images of his pals he told me they were like mincmeat,what is war about eh madness.Alistair

John R
10-28-2007, 08:12 AM
I actually got to fly a B-17. It cost me a bundle but what a thrill.
John R

Spin Doctor
10-28-2007, 09:07 AM
This has got me thinking. It’s now very much easier to produce graphics and text, yet so many instruction manuals (e.g. for DVD players and the like) are incomprehensible. Not just because they’re written with lawyers in mind.

I had a rental car which, bizarrely, had the radio/CD player controls/displays combined with the heating and ventilation controls. Baffled, I took recourse to the handbook, and found that the operating instructions for the system occupied no less than 48 pages.

On my fridge, there’s a dial with numbers from 1 to 6, with no clue as to which is colder. The handbook helpfully says ‘Adjust the temperature using the adjustment control’.
Is it me?

What's the matter. You don't speak Jinglish? The firsat CNC manuals I had experience with from Fanuc where terrible. Completely incomprehensible.

A.K. Boomer
10-28-2007, 09:53 AM
I have a rocker arm from a B-24 consolidated liberator sitting on my coffee table, its over 65 years old --- it has a central ball bearing to pivot on, it has an elephant foot adjuster at the valve end, these are sweet and drastically increase the hours you can go between valve adjustments sometimes two to four fold depending on other factors of valve train design, very nice stuff for the early 40's... One thing about it though, its a total hog wieght wise, unbelievable, still, got nuthin but respect for the era, those guys wrote the book on "git R done"....

Edit; Wanted to make a comment on the "ditching" technique, it states to cut the power to the two inboard engines, at first this did not make sense to me, If you were going to rely on just two to bring it in wouldnt you want the ones closest to the body so if you got a little "tipsy" and one dipped upon aproach it has less effect of throwing the plane sideways, but then there's the factor of where do the engines stop anyways? what if its a static blade all the way at BDC, its going to have an effect also, and then I seen what I think might be the reason, The wings are "canted" upward, the outboard engines are higher up and last to dip, by the time they do the body of the plane is already sunk in and established a water track? The outboards have more influence in turning if power is used but shurely this cant be the reason as this would be a non-factor because of the responce time needed,
Lets hear it from the Pilots...

tony ennis
10-28-2007, 09:57 AM
its a total hog wieght wise

That's probably because the lighter version kept breaking.

I. During war-time, though shalt not waste steel nor the mental resources of thy co-workers.

Malc-Y
10-28-2007, 10:51 AM
This has got me thinking. It’s now very much easier to produce graphics and text, yet so many instruction manuals (e.g. for DVD players and the like) are incomprehensible. Not just because they’re written with lawyers in mind.

I had a rental car which, bizarrely, had the radio/CD player controls/displays combined with the heating and ventilation controls. Baffled, I took recourse to the handbook, and found that the operating instructions for the system occupied no less than 48 pages.

On my fridge, there’s a dial with numbers from 1 to 6, with no clue as to which is colder. The handbook helpfully says ‘Adjust the temperature using the adjustment control’.
Is it me?

I have Mitutoyu DRO on my Colchester lathe and the instruction manual might just as well have been written in Japanese for all the sense that it makes, in fact it is written in Japanese :D . To be fair to Mitutoyo the second half of the book is printed in English, obviously translated from the Japanese verbatim by someone who is not an engineer, e.g. among the features listed are "gage input function that permits easy lathing", whatever that means.
I have carefully studied this manual and am no wiser now than I was before I started. Does anybody else have these problems or is it just me?

Malc :cool:

HWooldridge
10-28-2007, 10:57 AM
Related to ditching, I have a US Army field manual for 3/4 ton trucks and it describes in detail how to disable and destroy the vehicle if retreating so the enemy could not use it. I doubt many soldiers read those several pages while under fire - a grenade or machine gun burst would have been enough.

A.K. Boomer
10-28-2007, 12:09 PM
That's probably because the lighter version kept breaking.

I. During war-time, though shalt not waste steel nor the mental resources of thy co-workers.



Part of its due to design of the ratio, the cam side of the rocker throw is aprox. 1.5" the valve side is 2.25" this is extreme to say the least, it also drastically increases the amount of materials you have to use to get the same job done, I remember the pushrods on this engine, they were immence, They must have had thier reasons as this is a crazy amount of pressure on a smaller surface area cam lobe to boot, in fact everything on the cams side of the rocker is under more stress including the cam mains and even the rockers pivot, perhaps they simply did not have much room down there...

Todays OHC shim and bucket style cam followers are a direct 1 to 1 ratio, by keeping a large cam lobe profile all other part sizes can be reduced, since the recipricating parts of a valve train are NOT like that of a piston this means power savings as a valve train does not give back its momentum due to its intermittent function and indirect actuating (unless a Desmo --- which still is at total loss due to intermittent function)...

Doc Nickel
10-28-2007, 04:14 PM
I doubt many soldiers read those several pages while under fire[...]

-True. But the soldiers also spent many long hours not under fire.

Waiting for the attack to start, waiting for chow, waiting for supplies so they can get going, waiting for the general to swing by for a little morale boost...

The men would eventually read anything they could get their hands on, just out of boredom if nothing else.

Doc.

x39
10-28-2007, 06:07 PM
My buddy is a big B-29 fan (his dad was a crew member on one during the war). He has an original B-29 manual, which is pretty neat. He also has an R-3350 engine in the original can, which is even neater.

TECHSHOP
10-29-2007, 07:21 AM
"to cut the power to the two inboard engines" makes sense to this old soldier.

If I was climbing out of a plane that had just completed a controlled crash into water, I would really like not having to further concern myself with rotating props outside!

I always used to hate the written test on a technical military manuals, they used to have questions like:

"Refering to illustration, 2-b(1) on page 77, to operate the AN/UXB-101c, is the knob "d", rotated..."
a) clockwise
b) counter clockwise

I'd think, @$%! I just turn the thing "on" to use it...

Norman Atkinson
10-29-2007, 08:15 AM
Earlier, I write up the story as one of these Christamas Ghost stories for my RAF Squadron. I can assure you that much of the story is true and the rest possible.
It was the 15th December 1944. I was a schoolboy with my 'Smiling Morning face= and a gas mask. I don't appear in the plot until much, much later.

Glenn Miller, the legendary American band leader had finished his gig in London.
One of our 'boys' then was sketching him. Next day, Miller was due to go to- Paris???? But he boarded a little Canadian Norudyn Norseman which routed for Bordeaux--- 400 miles away. I have seen a copy of the accident report.
Meanwhile, formations of US B-17's were taking off for an attack on the railway mrshalling yards in a German town called Ulm. If successful, it would halt supplies to the Italian Front and the Russian Front to the East- for a while. Over the English Channel, the Norseman was chugging its single engined way close to the sea. There were wings icing up. It was a horrid day.
In fact, the B-17 target was obscured with falling snow and so were the secondary targets. the B-17's were going to drop their bomb loads- in the sea. Got it? Well, Miller never made Paris or Bordeaux or wherever.
Nor did a B-17 which was one of the pack heading back to Cambridge.
We simply don't know how it got there but it was in Scotland and heading ---South! Finally radio silence was broken as a fix was sought. No one knows to this day who gave the 'fix' whether it was a fake German transmitter speaking English or some one else. The truth of the matter is that the now weary B-17 flew over an RAF airfield.
So look at the pilot up in the greehouse in the late afternoon December clouds
The air field lit up brilliantly ahead and he put the wheels down. Phew!!!!
Almost 2700 feet above sealevel he had landed-- on a snowfield and with his 8000 lbs of bombs aboard- burst into flames. Several crew died but some escaped and were found by Sheila, the sheepdog. Then Sheila went back as the burning bombs exploded. Sheila got a medal.
Well, Sheila has gone to the Great Doggy Kennel in the Sky but her pups are around. They went to the one of the survivor's families in the US

The B-17 is still around. They tried to bury her remains- and she wouldn't have any of it. B-17's were built to last. She landed on something called a peat bog and as the weather changes, snows, rains and droughts she -or bits of her- sink and rise with the changes.

I have been there many times. Sometimes she is there with her dangerous rotting point five ammo and sometimes she isn't.
Where she landed was appropriately called-- The Hell Hole

motomoron
10-30-2007, 12:08 AM
The Strato Cruiser that went for a dip in WA had just been completely restored at breathtaking cost. After it was recovered, they went over it all again, even to the point of having another run of the upholstery fabric made. It finally made it east without further drama, and it's on display at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy annex of the Air and Space Museum.

It's spectacular. BTW, if you're ever in the DC/VA area the U-H annex is very much worth a trip. There's less touristy stuff than the Air and Space museum on the national mall, but lots of stuff for gearheads. And you get up close to an SR-71. Oooh.

BadDog
10-30-2007, 12:55 AM
I had an up close walk around with an SR-71 along with several nose pods down at the Tucson graveyard. VERY cool trip. B-52s, including one with Yeager's(?) cradle, a guppy, some old WWII era bombers, lots of good stuff...

CCWKen
10-30-2007, 01:40 AM
My dad trained in several positions on the B-17. While he never left the US during WW-II, he was assigned to sub-patrol in the Gulf and on the West Coast. He never had to ditch but went on leave just one day before his crew (plane) flew into a mountain. After that he was assigned to shuttle generals and USO performers around the country in a modified B-17. I guess they figured with his luck, all would be safe but he had some wild-wing stories to tell. The Army Air Corps was always a wild bunch.

I believe he still has his manuals and log books in his library, including the engine. I remember seeing them when I was much younger. Pratt & Whitney, I think.

Greg Q
10-30-2007, 06:47 AM
I flew a restored B-17 in a few airshows back in the eighties. It was obviously a highlight of my flying, and a real insight into just how heroic those old guys* were. We'd give tours to the veterans, listen to their stories and let them cry with dignity. Nothing like real hot metal and the smell of old leather and sweat and oil to bring the memories flooding back.

I was amazed (I shouldn't have been) at just how s-l-o-w the B-17 is, and at the appalling rate of climb and leaden control response. Going to war in one of these would have been purely an exercise in faith in .50 cal machine guns.

Ditching a prop plane can sometimes result in a prop blade separation and if possible the advice was to shut down as many engines as possible prior to contacting the water.

*my Dad flew Lancasters, and flying that -17 made me even prouder of him.

Thanks for posting this.

Norman Atkinson
10-30-2007, 08:10 AM
GregQ,
My congratulations both to your Dad and yourself. I do keep thinking of the film 'Victory through air power' and wonder whether this had the defensive stuff from B-17- Flying Fortresses making up a mutual shield for each bit. My marbles are fading and a few of us are being sought to add to the Squadron history- before the inevitable happens.

I was researching bits about the Lanc and it came back to me as I sat on the cushions and took off from RAF Middleton St George. I recall- sorry folks- but this guy is sort of unique having a father who survived. I had Guy Gibson VC's Signals Officer- 617 Squadron as my boss before I went into 'my blue'.
I had a little WAAF who was the caravan controller for the Lancs at Middleton.
There was dear 'Stookie' with an Aldis lamp showing red and ready to flash green for Go with a Lanc throbbing with its brakes on and the navigation light almost into her black and white caravan. All went bang and the Lanc was a ball of flames and virtually gone. Stookie was alive, still holding her signal lamp.

Another WAAF -I'd gone back to real life- and poor Marjorie was one of my clerks. I told the story of the B-17 over RAF Milfield and the Cheviot crash.
Marge would go off into buckets of tears. Someone had failed to make it back over the North Sea!

I was having breakfast with Frank and Lien a few days ago. Lien was wearing the 31 Squadron crest and the Dutch ribbon with No 2 Para badge as a pin.
We got a Victoria Cross-a posthumous one and the then school girl Lien was tending the British wounded and for the rest of the War, she would have been shot without trial.

It wasn't just the men who were heroes. It was women and children too.