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The B-17 "Flying Fortress" consisted of a ten-man crew. In the cockpit of the plane you found the Pilot and Co-Pilot. Their job was to fly and operate the plane, keeping it on course with the bomb target. Behind the cockpit you would find the Top Turret. One man operated this station, assisting the Pilotís when needed, but his main job was to man the Top-Turret machine gun when in combat. Right behind the Top Turret was the Radio Operator. The Radio Operator kept radio contact with other planes and the airbase. Slightly behind and underneath the Radio Operator was the Ball-Turret. Many view this station as the most dangerous on the entire plane. The Ball-Turret was a rotating sphere that hung below bottom of the plane. One man could fit inside, and was sealed off from the rest of the plane. He operated a machine gun when in combat. Behind the Ball-Turret was the Left and Right Waist Gunners. These two men operated two machine guns when in combat. Finally, behind the Waist Gunners was the Tail Gunner. The Tail Gunner operated a machine gun in the rear of the plane during combat. Underneath the cockpit, you would find the nose of the airplane. In the nose of the aircraft you would find the Navigator and the Bombardier. The Navigator was in charge of making sure the pilot is staying on course. The Bombardier makes sure the plane is over the target, and drops the bombs. Both of them have machine guns for fighting fighter pilot opposition.

Click on the icon for a virtual tour courtesy of B-17.com.

Virtual Tour is in .mov format.  Download Quicktime here.

 

                           

 

 

 

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