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B-25J "Maid in the Shade" at local airport

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  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Minnesota City, Minnesota, U.S.A.
B-25J "Maid in the Shade" at local airport
Posted by FlyItLikeYouStoleIt on Monday, August 05, 2013 10:32 PM

This B-25J "Maid in the Shade" is currently parked at a nearby airport in LaCrosse WI and is available for tours! When in service she was based out of Corsica and flew about 15 combat missions in '44. She's now operated by the Commemorative Air Force based in Arizona. 

 I'm pretty psyched! They're also offering flights, but at $395 to sit in the waste gunner, $650 to sit in the flight deck, uhhhh, probably not! Still, it'll be awesome just to get up close to her and hopefully get some photo ops. What better way for obtaining modeling detail references. 

Hopefully I will get down there to see her and if I do I'll post some of my pics in here.

Bill.

On the bench:  Lindberg 1/32 scale 1934 Ford Coupe and a few rescue projects.

In queue:  Tamiya 1/35 Quad Tractor or a scratch build project.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Minnesota City, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Posted by FlyItLikeYouStoleIt on Thursday, August 08, 2013 11:24 PM

Well, I went and saw her Wednesday and ..... NICE!! She's is fully restored to her 1944 glory, right down to having all her guns (inoperable of course) and intact bomb bay. Both belly hatches were open and we were free to enter and explore all we wanted, without actually getting into the pilots seats, tail gun or nose / bombardier. Quite the experience! Here are some of my pics if interested:

This guy polished the spinners 3 times during my 1 1/2 hr visit.

Just look at that shiny hub! The guy loves his plane, man.

  Plenty more where those came from. Lot of interior detail if anybody's interested for modeling details. Message me

Bill.

On the bench:  Lindberg 1/32 scale 1934 Ford Coupe and a few rescue projects.

In queue:  Tamiya 1/35 Quad Tractor or a scratch build project.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, August 09, 2013 6:56 AM

very nice shots,thanks

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Friday, August 09, 2013 11:09 AM

What?!  The guns don't work?  That's no fun, guys!

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Friday, August 09, 2013 11:26 AM

Great photos, thanks for sharing with us!!!

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Friday, August 09, 2013 11:38 AM

Thanks for posting this, Bill!

I'm very interested in your pics! I'm currently building one of those beauties in 1/32 and I am happy about every pic I can find!

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Minnesota City, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Posted by FlyItLikeYouStoleIt on Sunday, August 11, 2013 5:05 PM

Alright here's some more pics.

FYI: She was NOT named "Maid in the Shade" when in service in '44. Then, she was simply Bomber 18 of 319th Bombardment Group. The Commemorative Air Force named her after spending 28 years restoring her in the shade of their hangar somewhere in the deserts of Arizona.

Forward in the Bomb Bay

Interior of Bomb Bay door (scribbling is signatures of B25 pilots that have visited her)

Main gear, right side. If you didn't know (I didn't), the main gear doors close after gear are let down, allowing only a small opening for the strut to remain open.

Looking inside where strut protrudes from gear well.

Looking inside of gear well, facing rear (I just stuck the camera in there and blindly shot).

Looking up into gun turret

Oxygen tanks 

Access (crawl space) to bombardier's station

Main systems electrical panel, located on right side in rear of flight deck, just above main hatch and below gun turret.

Facing rear from flight deck, looking over top of Bomb Bay (notice rounded edge of Gun Turret, top of pic).

Interior of Emergency Exit just rear of right side waist gun

I'd better cut this short. I feel I've exceeded some sort of memory space allowance with all these pics. This aint even half of 'em. I may post more in here later or message me to get more if you need

Bill.

On the bench:  Lindberg 1/32 scale 1934 Ford Coupe and a few rescue projects.

In queue:  Tamiya 1/35 Quad Tractor or a scratch build project.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Sunday, August 11, 2013 6:21 PM

Thanks a lot! Do you have some pics of the rear interior as well (waist and tail gun positions)?

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Minnesota City, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Posted by FlyItLikeYouStoleIt on Monday, August 12, 2013 11:36 AM

SchattenSpartan

Thanks a lot! Do you have some pics of the rear interior as well (waist and tail gun positions)?

Yes indeed, my good man. They aren't the best pics though. Dudes were sittin in there talkin smart, I was in a hurry so I wouldn't miss anything, lighting was blah ........but:

Interior tail gun. Close as I dared get. Looking slightly upward. Seat, which I doubt is authentic, blocking view of actual guns.

Another view of tail gun (interior)

Waist gun positions. Ammo boxes strapped in on sides of pic

Close up of ammo box

Right side waist gun (again, sorry about the lighting)

I still have more if you'd like.

Also, you'd think people in the model reference forums would like these but I haven't gotten much interest there. Interesting huh?

Bill.

On the bench:  Lindberg 1/32 scale 1934 Ford Coupe and a few rescue projects.

In queue:  Tamiya 1/35 Quad Tractor or a scratch build project.

  • Member since
    November, 2010
  • From: Florida-West Central
Posted by Eagle90 on Monday, August 12, 2013 12:52 PM

Well I think they are spectacular pics!  Thank you for taking the time to post them.  They are invaluable reference data!  Thanks again!  They are much appreciated!

Eagle90

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Minnesota City, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Posted by FlyItLikeYouStoleIt on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:43 PM

Alright, I'm gonna have to post THESE in the reference forum. Saw the B25 again and learned tons more about her. That damn plane came to our airport this week! Unreal, as the last one is only 30 miles down river from us. So, now she's sitting about a mile from where I'm sitting right now.

Anyway, It hadn't dawned on me to pay any attention to the wheel chocks last week. This week I learned that the chocks seen here:

are from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet of Doolittle Raiders fame. The Maid in the Shade attended the reunion for the Doolittle Raiders. To show their appreciation, the reunion committee provided actual Hornet wheel chocks for the attending aircraft to use and let them take 'em.

Also this week, it was time for the girl to get her spark plugs changed. So ........

Your welcome.

And FYI (cuz I didn't know)  Hmm  if you look carefully, you'll see that the bottom 7 cylinders are separately ported through the cowl but, the top 7 use a manifold and all join together to get exhausted out through one big pipe.

As evident in the next pic. these engines were made to leak oil. Every cylinder  was dripping oil from it's exhaust, hence the rags stuffed into each port

And a little more info: the oil cooler intakes on the wings just outboard from the engines are shaped differently (left wing intake facing down and the right one straight out) to best utilize prop-wash, maximizing the airflow.

 

Bill.

On the bench:  Lindberg 1/32 scale 1934 Ford Coupe and a few rescue projects.

In queue:  Tamiya 1/35 Quad Tractor or a scratch build project.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:04 PM

Really nice pics and information! Thanks for posting!

I have some pics to offer as well: I was in Munster for 4 days and just arrived at home. I took lots of pics in the tank museum located there and I'm going to post them in the next 2 weeks. I'll drop a link here if anyone is interested...

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Minnesota City, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Posted by FlyItLikeYouStoleIt on Monday, August 19, 2013 8:06 AM

More to come. Imagine this: I've talked to the pilot and if all goes as planned, when the B25 departs from Winona today, I'll be laying on the end of the runway to snap some pics (maybe video?) as she takes off over me. Hope she uses only her normal length of runway to get up, we'll see. If not, I've left a note for my wife to post the pics/video in here.

Bill.

On the bench:  Lindberg 1/32 scale 1934 Ford Coupe and a few rescue projects.

In queue:  Tamiya 1/35 Quad Tractor or a scratch build project.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Monday, August 19, 2013 10:29 AM

That sounds awesome! Looks like I found a new desktop background!

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Minnesota City, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Posted by FlyItLikeYouStoleIt on Monday, August 19, 2013 11:23 PM

That didn't happen. Too many people turned out and with all those (including little kids) that followed me halfway out to the runway, I decided not to go past the runway edge to avoid causing a mass slaughter. However, I shot some video of warm up, taxiing, take off and flyover.  Now this was shot with a crappy camera, during an exciting event and I butchered the vid of the flyover (barely 30 ft over our heads) bcuz I watched the plane instead of the camera screen. Sue me.

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0QcM2zFo0YtXUA

The sound was the best part of the experience! It just ROARED as it was speeding up for takeoff, which only required about 300 feet. And that flyover? Just INTENSE!! Nothing like it. You can barely tell in the crappy vid but after he passed by, he stood it on it's tail and went almost vertical! Just un-flippin' real !!

Bill.

On the bench:  Lindberg 1/32 scale 1934 Ford Coupe and a few rescue projects.

In queue:  Tamiya 1/35 Quad Tractor or a scratch build project.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Minnesota City, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Posted by FlyItLikeYouStoleIt on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 11:33 PM

Sorry about the poor video quality, especially the low altitude pass at the end. But it truly was one of the coolest experiences of my life and one for which few people get the opportunity. This is only like one of 10 airworthy B25s in the world so I couldn't pass up the chance at watching her fly.

Now, this week she's only 35 miles west of me. Should I go see her again and try to get a better video of the flyover? Doubtful that airport (Rochester MN) will allow me to get right under her like Winona did.

Bill.

On the bench:  Lindberg 1/32 scale 1934 Ford Coupe and a few rescue projects.

In queue:  Tamiya 1/35 Quad Tractor or a scratch build project.

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