david b.
Topic Author
Posts: 2894
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 7:18 pm


Tue Dec 11, 2001 12:53 pm

How does a B-17 back up? Someone post this question as a respones to my post on "Ground Steering".  Acting devilish
The B-17 doesn't have reverse thrusters so how do they back up? Thanks.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Teenage-know-it-alls should be shot on sight
Posts: 1245
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2001 11:46 am

RE: B-17

Tue Dec 11, 2001 1:49 pm

The airplane's tailwheel is attached to a towbar and pulled back by a mule.
Posts: 1589
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 1999 6:20 pm

RE: B-17

Tue Dec 11, 2001 4:02 pm

The pilot blows real hard.  Big thumbs up
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2001 5:57 pm

RE: B-17

Tue Dec 11, 2001 5:09 pm

that was me and it's for real. I've seen it done. Hint: you are going to need more than two engines to do it. AVT007 had pretty much the right idea when i posted the question previously, except the b-17 has a tailwheel and not a nosewheel. Hold your hand out in front of you and act out what would happen under various uses of differential thrust and braking.

RE: B-17

Wed Dec 12, 2001 1:05 am

Simple, you lock the brake and runup the two engines on that side of the airplane. The wing with the runup engines will pivot and advance, forcing the other wing to retreat. The procedure is reversed and the B-17 is able to "walk" itself backwards. Great question! Even greater airplane!!!
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2001 5:57 pm

RE: B-17

Wed Dec 12, 2001 5:26 am

Exactly right Jetguy. Pat on the back for you. It is very cool to watch, as it makes a lot of noise and kicks up a lot of dust. Saw the Memphis Belle (the one made up for the movie) do it at Spokane Felts Field when they were doing the promo tour for the movie.

RE: B-17

Thu Dec 13, 2001 9:22 am

I got the chance to go into that B-17 that was used in the Memphis Belle movie. It is very cramped in that machine, makes you wonder how crews bailed out of those things when they were hit over enemy lines.

RE: B-17

Thu Dec 13, 2001 10:21 am

I've had the opportunity on several occassions to go over nearly every square inch of 2 or 3 different B-17's. When I hit the lottery, one of the first things that I will do is figure out a way to get a B-17 type rating. It has been a dream of mine to fly one for as long as I can remember. One day, I would love to start a WWII aircraft museam and a B-17 would be the center piece. I find it a very moving experience when I contemplate what those kids who crew them went through. Not only were they cramped, but they were also freezing cold. I can't even imagine what it would have been like sitting in one of those things on a combat mission. That aluminum skin wouldn't even slow down a machine gun bullet or piece of flak. It would be hard to imagine a worse way or place to die. We owe a lot to the B-17 and to the young crews that flew them.
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Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:44 pm

RE: B-17

Thu Dec 13, 2001 11:06 pm

HI David B. , Buzz here. You had commented abotu backing up a B-17. I guess it can be done, but it's hard on the tires and prop tips.
If you have a DC-3 and nose up to the gas pumps, get 6 or 7 husky freinds and push on the top half of the main gear tires. You can roll a DC-3 back far enough to start engines and turn about.
Reversing props are a feature on post- WW2 airplanes. Normally, a DC-3, or B-17 don't need brakes on landing, only to slow down a bit to make taxiway turnoffs, and for engine starts / Mag checks. Don't use them like thrust reversers, you have to fly tailwheel airplanes to a stop.
Buzz Fuselsausage: Line Mechanic by night, DC-3 Crew Chief by choice.
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: B-17

Fri Dec 14, 2001 12:39 am

Oh for anyone intrested in seeing a B-17 thats in the Daytona Area, there is one in for repairs in KEVB. They also have a T-6, and a DC-3 there also.
At worst, you screw up and die.

RE: B-17

Thu Dec 20, 2001 9:19 am

I went to that air museum in Kissimmee, FL this past May and saw that B-17 that is being restored to it's original configuration. They have another one in that same hanger that is in pieces that will be restored next that was damaged by a hurricane a few years ago.

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