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B17 or B29? - from a purely aesthetic perspective

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B17 or B29? - from a purely aesthetic perspective

Old 4th Apr 2021, 19:32
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,656
As far as cockpits from the inside Id have to go with the B-29.....
Externally...? B-17 is a gorgeous aircraft and the B-29 is just plain Jane utilitarian.
Was allowed to crawl around a B-17 in Texas nice and seriously donked my head trying to get into the cockpit.
I do believe the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon was modeled after the -29

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Old 4th Apr 2021, 21:58
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Everett, WA
Age: 66
Posts: 3,217
Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
I had a look inside Kermit's B-17 when visiting Polk City. Climbing up through the aircraft from the rear door to the cockpit, I remember remarking to an American fellow visitor "what an incredibly cramped space to go to war in...". He agreed! For some reason "Memphis Belle" had given me an impression of quite a lot of room inside...
Back on July 4, 1976 (the USA bi-centennial), Colorado Springs managed to get the Commemorative Air Force to visit (it was the "Confederate" Air Force back then - before that became politically incorrect) - and it took about half a second to convince my WWII veteran dad to go up there for the day. Based on shows like "Twelve O'clock High", always though of the B-17 as a big aircraft so I was shocked how small it was when I actually looked in one. About 30 years later I took a flight on the Collings Foundation B-17 'Nine-O-Nine' (yes, the one that crashed in Connecticut a few years back) - a very memorable experience (and yes, it's small inside).

Whereas the B-29 was more spacious, but I didn't try the crawlway!
I toured Fifi about five years ago when it was in Everett - I would have liked to taken a flight by my wife vetoed spending the money (it was around $1,000 - the B-17 had been about $400). It is huge inside - especially compared to the B-17.
I used to work with a guy that had been a bomber pilot during WWII although he was never in combat. His job was to ferry built bomber aircraft around the US. He said that on the B-29, the crew would spend the absolute minimum of time in the tunnel - if there was a sudden depressurization for whatever reason, anyone in that tunnel would be shot out like a bullet .

I do believe the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon was modeled after the -29
Yes, it was - and the scenes of the Imperial "TIE Fighters" attacking the Falcon were based on films of German fighters attacking American bomber formations. Oh, and the scene of the rebels attacking the Death Star was based on 'Dam Busters'.
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Old 4th Apr 2021, 23:16
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ft. Collins, Colorado USA
Age: 87
Posts: 188
Growing up in WWII (I was 10 in 1944) the B-17 was an American icon. When the B-29 came out it was awesome. Both airplanes looked huge in the films and pictures I saw. I made Strombecker wooden model kits of both. Never saw a B-29 in my youth but there was a B-17 parked at KLGA.
Later, starting as a licensed mech in 1954 I thought Supper Connies and DC-6/7 were big. Never liked the look of the B-377 Stratocruiser but when working it I thought it was very big. Then the jets, first B.707, then DC-8 - wow. Then EAL leased three PAA B747 and they were mindblowing. Now I knew what big meant. And the tail engine on a DC-10, now I knew what High was.
On my first trips to Udva Hazy and Pima Air Museum I was amazed how small both the B-17 and the B-29 now looked. I had been spoiled.
The B-17 is almost a flying wing. The wing is a big proportion of the aircraft. The B-29 had a more elegant extended wing. And now, long retired, I see pictures of B-737 with insignificant wings stretched out (I managed two -200 models once) I assume are only needed to mount control surfaces.
I still vote for the B-17.
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