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Lucky Lady II


New Englander
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I've got a few days to kill in LA. We found the Planes of fame museum in Chino is somewhat open - hangar doors open but you can only go so far in before encountering a barrier. Nonetheless, it was better than sitting in a hotel room.

Since this site is about all things IHC I noticed an old truck attached to a trailer towing what looked like a B29 fuselage. Well it turned out to be a B50 post war fuselage with an interesting story:

It was the first non-stop circumnavigation of the globe aircraft. It was aerial refueled by a unique method of a grapple and hose and took nearly four days flown by three crews in four hour shifts. Average speed was less than 250 MPH.

Sometime after that mission it was belly landed allegedly due to fuel mismanagement so was set on a trailer and used as a recruiting tool in the early '50s. It's been in the museum lot for years. The small picture below is from 18 years ago and it's accumulated lots of dirt since then.

There's plenty to see even though restricted to mostly outside viewing. We were among the few visiting during the week and during the pandemic so the docents were happy to have a couple of older pilots to talk with.

EDIT: the tanker is a B29 type. Note the taller tail and bigger R4360 engines on the B50.

Lucky Lady towed by IHC.jpg

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180px-02_Boeing_B-50A_Superfortress_Lucky_Lady_II.jpg

Edited by New Englander
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...have had several visits, over the years , to that particular museum.......was usually able to have a yarn with the old blokes working on restorations...very interesting place to pass away several hours......

Mike

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2 minutes ago, mike newman said:

...have had several visits, over the years , to that particular museum.......was usually able to have a yarn with the old blokes working on restorations...very interesting place to pass away several hours......

Mike

Sadly the restoration hangar is not open due COVID-19?

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Very cool. I have a 1/72 scale plastic model kit that I have to build of a B-50. 

I think they still called B-50’s by the same name they called B-29’s: “Super Fortress” 

One little known added feature that the B-50 has over the B-29 was a steerable nose wheel assembly. On the B-29’s, the pilot and co-pilot had no direct input control over the nose wheels. They had to “steer” the B-29 on the ground through the use of varying engine power settings to the propellers, and perhaps the use of brakes on the left and right main gear wheels, and perhaps rudder input control at higher ground speeds. 

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54 minutes ago, Rick G. said:

Very cool. I have a 1/72 scale plastic model kit that I have to build of a B-50. 

I think they still called B-50’s by the same name they called B-29’s: “Super Fortress” 

One little known added feature that the B-50 has over the B-29 was a steerable nose wheel assembly. On the B-29’s, the pilot and co-pilot had no direct input control over the nose wheels. They had to “steer” the B-29 on the ground through the use of varying engine power settings to the propellers, and perhaps the use of brakes on the left and right main gear wheels, and perhaps rudder input control at higher ground speeds. 

Castering nose wheels are not uncommon. It saves the weight of the mechanism so, as you said, steering is by differential braking, thrust and, of course, rudder. Even different models of the same plane may be one of the other. The Navy seemed more enamored of castering than the Air Force. T34A Air Force trainer has steering while the B model the Navy used is caster, for instance.

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That's a great post. Thank You. I didn't know about this museum when I did my west cost trip, or I'd have visited.

Might be a silly question, but have you been to the Museum of Flight in Seattle? It was top notch and I had a similar experience there. I showed up on a Monday, it was closed. I was only in town the one day, so a mechanic working on a restoration let me in and a young kid security guard gave me a tour. No docents were there. I'll never forget he said to me "I'm going to try to give you my very best, but don't ask any questions. I know nothing at all about this place and I won't be able to answer them. I'm only repeating what I've heard said so many times." With that said I didn't expect much at all; I was grateful to be allowed inside. But, he gave an absolute first class tour. As good as any I've ever gotten. I may or may not have gotten real close to a few of them, which may have slided since there wasn't anyone else in the building and it was easy to keep an eye on me.

Also, at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, I had the best docent tour I've ever had. It was also a weekday and I was the only one signed up for my time slot so it was a personal tour as well. My docent was a Korean War pilot. He was funny and whip smart and made the whole out-of-my-way trip through Oregon worth it. I'll say, if you're ever there, it's worth signing up for the free docent-guided tour, AND also paying extra to get the premium tour of the Hercules. My picture of myself in Howard Hughes' seat is a prized possession. There were a couple of highlights there but one was how they oriented a B-17 behind the Goose for the visual comparison of the B-17's wingspan being narrower than the tail of the Goose.

 

I consider myself an airplane nerd who's into tractors because they're more affordable. Airplane geek or not, I didn't know the story of that airframe, nor that that museum existed, so thanks again for sharing!

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3 hours ago, KWRB said:

Museum of Flight in Seattle

We're often in Seattle at Boeing Field so I've been to it a couple of times. It's an amazing place where most of the exhibits have been meticulously preserved or restored. I've not made it to Evergreen.

At one time many years ago I flew for Kollsman Instruments, a major defense contractor. As such we were in DC every week and would visit the Air and Space Museum, another great one. Since 9 11 it's a major pain to land at National/Reagan so if in DC we land Dulles. The Udvar-Hazy Air and Space there is another amazing visit. Another favorite is the Pima museum in Tucson. One day when all this pandemic is behind us I'll fly my own plane to Dayton for the AF museum, a bucket list visit.

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39 minutes ago, New Englander said:

We're often in Seattle at Boeing Field so I've been to it a couple of times. It's an amazing place where most of the exhibits have been meticulously preserved or restored. I've not made it to Evergreen.

At one time many years ago I flew for Kollsman Instruments, a major defense contractor. As such we were in DC every week and would visit the Air and Space Museum, another great one. Since 9 11 it's a major pain to land at National/Reagan so if in DC we land Dulles. The Udvar-Hazy Air and Space there is another amazing visit. Another favorite is the Pima museum in Tucson. One day when all this pandemic is behind us I'll fly my own plane to Dayton for the AF museum, a bucket list visit.

It is a shame that I live fifteen minutes from the U.S. Air force museum and just take it for granted. Haven't been there since before the last hanger was built. Unless they changed it the admission fee is zero. Worth the visit back then and lot of additional aircraft added in the last few years.

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2 hours ago, New Englander said:

We're often in Seattle at Boeing Field so I've been to it a couple of times. It's an amazing place where most of the exhibits have been meticulously preserved or restored. I've not made it to Evergreen.

At one time many years ago I flew for Kollsman Instruments, a major defense contractor. As such we were in DC every week and would visit the Air and Space Museum, another great one. Since 9 11 it's a major pain to land at National/Reagan so if in DC we land Dulles. The Udvar-Hazy Air and Space there is another amazing visit. Another favorite is the Pima museum in Tucson. One day when all this pandemic is behind us I'll fly my own plane to Dayton for the AF museum, a bucket list visit.

I did Pima and Udvar-Hazy in that same trip. Both were fun. I did an afternoon sprint through Dayton once, not nearly enough time but I was in town and didn't want to miss it entirely. I liked the boneyard at Davis Monthan way more than Pima. I didn't like all the stuff sitting outside at Pima. They had some stuff covered but a lot of special one of a kind aircraft in rough shape and all locked up. Same with NEAM at Bradley. Of course money is a factor and not everything can be preserved indoors, but it's unfortunate they can't.

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I have a pair of mechanical cylinders for lack of a better name. They are threaded to retract them. Guy that gave them to me said they were from the landing gear of a B? I think but cant remember.  I have done a little research and have found nothing. At one point I thought about making a dump bed with them but dought I will ever use them. I have been meaning to take them to the airport museum and see if they might want them. Think any of you would recognize them if I posted a pic?

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1 hour ago, redneckhippie said:

I have a pair of mechanical cylinders for lack of a better name. They are threaded to retract them. Guy that gave them to me said they were from the landing gear of a B? I think but cant remember.  I have done a little research and have found nothing. At one point I thought about making a dump bed with them but dought I will ever use them. I have been meaning to take them to the airport museum and see if they might want them. Think any of you would recognize them if I posted a pic?

Give it a shot.

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