b741
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B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Wed May 04, 2005 8:32 am

I heard something about the toggle switches in the B-17 causing confusion and accidents amongst crew members. It could have had something to do with the landing gear. Any historians or operators know any more about this?
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kc135topboom
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Sun May 08, 2005 2:20 pm

Back during WWII, US and UK built aircraft did not have guarded switches that you see in aircraft of today. That contributed to a lot of accidents in every type, not just the B-17.

The guarded switch was a German invention, and most Luftwaffe combat airplanes they flew during WWII had them, including the early Bf-109s and Stukas. The Luftwaffe accident rate (excluding jet aircraft), during WWII was much lower than the RAF, USAAF, USN, IJN, RN, or any other combatent. Only some of this is attributed to guarded switches. But, actually the Luftwaffe aircrews got more flying time and landings than other combat crews in WWII.
 
b741
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Mon May 09, 2005 6:11 am

That Luftwaffe was really advanced for its time.
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USAFMXOfficer
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Mon May 09, 2005 9:39 am

Yeah, the Luftwaffe was awesome.....it was the idiot at the top of Germany that decided to turn the world's most advanced fighter (ME-262) into a bomber.....can you imagine if the Germans had pushed the -262 out as a fighter in '42 or '43?
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b741
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Mon May 09, 2005 12:40 pm

I saw that ME262 in Flight magazine last year. It was restored to flying condition. I heard that it was the first operational jet aircraft. Awesome speed for its time.
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kc135topboom
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Tue May 10, 2005 5:26 pm

Quoting B741 (Reply 4):
I saw that ME262 in Flight magazine last year. It was restored to flying condition.

Actually those are new build airplanes. They are copies of the Me-262, built buy a company from Fort Worth, TX and someplace in Oregon. They have GE J-85 engines (without the afterburners), modern avionics, strobe lights, WX radar, and fake guns.

There have been Bf-109s, Me-109s, FW-190s, and Stukas restored to flying condition. But, I have never heard of an original Me-262 being restored, I could be wrong.
 
SATL382G
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Wed May 11, 2005 3:23 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
They are copies of the Me-262

Actually they are ME-262s. The newbuilds were good enough that MBB issued them Werke Nummers

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
But, I have never heard of an original Me-262 being restored,

The team that did the newbuilds restored a wartime ME-262 for the Navy in exchange for copying the parts.
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kc135topboom
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Wed May 11, 2005 5:09 pm

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 6):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
But, I have never heard of an original Me-262 being restored,

The team that did the newbuilds restored a wartime ME-262 for the Navy in exchange for copying the parts.

Thanks, I didn't know that. Where did the USN get a Me-262?
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Wed May 11, 2005 9:13 pm

They captured a rare two seater at the end of WW2. It was in bad condition in their museum. The guys who built the new ME-262s dismantled it completely and took the dimensions of the parts. Then they restored it to static display conditions (non-flying) for the museum and repaired all the corrosion damage.

Jan
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SATL382G
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Thu May 12, 2005 2:35 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Thanks, I didn't know that. Where did the USN get a Me-262?

In addition to MD11Engineers comments, here's a blurb from the projects website...

"The ideal candidate aircraft was found in an unlikely setting: a solitary example of an un-restored and original Me 262 was sitting outside of Willow Grove Naval Air Station in eastern Pennsylvania. The aircraft, once known as "White 35," was a rare Luftwaffe trainer, complete with dual-controls. Having spent decades on outdoor display, the jet was deteriorating rapidly. Unless it could be properly restored, its days were clearly numbered. This made it the single best hope for use in a restoration/reproduction project. It was soon discovered that the U.S. Navy owned the aircraft, but lacked the resources to give the old B-1a a quality restoration."

http://www.stormbirds.com/project/history/phase_1.htm

FYI: If I'm not mistaken I believe the newbuilds are so authentic that MBB issued them a new model number to account for the new engines!!  Smile
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b741
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RE: B-17 Toggle Switch Confusion

Thu May 12, 2005 3:41 am

I think I have the report on the capture from 1945 but I will have to check the library.
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