After Dan explained to Kenny how a prop is different from a jet engine, we were allowed inside the plane.
The plane was nicknamed "The Flying Fortress" due to heavy armament to protect the aircraft during raids in World War II. Before the advent of long-range Fighter escorts, B-17s had only their .50 inch (12.7 mm) caliber machine guns to rely on for defense during the bombing runs over Europe. Because the bombers could not maneuver when attacked by fighters, and during their final run they needed to be flown straight and level, individual aircraft struggled to fend off a direct attack. In the picture above you can see two of the defensive guns and a yellow oxygen cylinder.
Dan in the cockpit area explaining the various instruments and how they work to Kenny.
Kenny discovered his favorite part of the plane. He said that it would be "just great" if he could sit in the nose gunner's area if the plane was in the air because"you can see the whole world from here".
And now Dan and Kenny get the surprise. I had booked them on a flight over Fresno. They attended the pilot's briefing then climbed aboard. The Liberty Belle taxis to the main runway.
Kenny got his wish as he sits in the nose of the airplane and watches the world go by underneath his feet.
Kenny took this picture of his Dad at the communications desk in the aircraft. I think Dan looks like he's enjoying himself, don't you?
After 45 minutes in the air, Dan and Kenny returned to the Fresno Air Terminal.
When Kenny and Dan exit the plane, both are all smiles. I was glad they both got to enjoy this bit of history together.