.50 caliber machine guns.

 

 A  B-17G,  like the “Champaign Lady” has (12 ea.) .50 caliber machine  guns.

They are mounted as follows:

                                (2) Chin turret guns.

                                (1) Left side flexible cheek gun.

                                (1) Right side flexible cheek gun.

                                (2) Top turret guns.

                                (2) Ball turret guns.

                                (1) Left side waist gun.

                               (1) Right side waist gun.

                               (2) Tail turret guns.

Some earlier models also had a single gun mounted in the radio room which was operated by the radio operator.  It was eliminated from the later B-17G models.

Each of the guns (barrels) is fed from a 450 shell ammunition box.

This comes to about 60 seconds of continuous firing of each gun.

 

 

One of our volunteers made the machine gun replicas for the B-17.  We knew replica parts can be bought but they are too expensive for us.

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The volunteer, Irv Bence, who has a Civil Engineering degree (a real handy man) made the necessary parts for the guns which took a fair amount of patience and his time. Many of the small parts are hand made and they look very good. Hand made means drilling, sawing, filing  or grinding with a Dremmel tool.  The hand grips of the guns are made from walnut and were turned on a wood turning lathe. Irv cut them at home and donated them.

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Left side Flex-Cheek gun.

 

 

 

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Left side Flex-Cheek gun.

 

 

 

The blog is under construction. We will publish more of it soon.

The wings.

Construction and repairing/restoring the wings of a B-17G is a major undertaking. The volunteers involved have been working on the wings for several years.

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Bill Heater and Paul Good both have a Mechanical Engineering degree.

Constructing wings requires volunteers who are very dedicated to the project. It takes years to make the wings  and assemble them with thousands of rivets and new parts . We have therefore a couple of (volunteer) mechanical engineers of the museum leading the effort.   These wings have to made per drawings  with  a high quality of workmanship. No short cuts, no marginal parts, every step documented and inspected.

In this blog we will describe the efforts of the 4 men who patiently work on this. We are fortunate to have them.  They are at the project 2 days a week.  Tuesday and Thursday are their normal working days. 

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A double row of rivets inside a wing spar.

  

We will continue with the WING CONSTRUCTION blog on a later date.