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I took it as a sign of fate when I stumbled upon the news report announcing that the B-17 used in the movie “Memphis Belle” would be flying into and staying for a few days at the municipal airport literally just up the street from my home.  I couldn’t believe it, I was not going to miss this!

As we drove up to the airport we noticed that the Memphis Belle was circling the airfield prior to landing so we stopped right under the approach at the end of the airfield fence and I caught a few shots of her landing.

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After a few minutes she loaded up with a new set of passengers and took off

At the fence

Memphis Belle-StartTakeoff roll out Takeoff-faux pano_Sepia-runway viewShe circled once before heading out to fly a circuit of the Salt Lake Valley

Memphis Belle_flyover_Belly View-colorMemphis Belle-Kennecot-distant-sepia

I like the BW version above, but the color of the Kennecott Copper mine tailings are too cool to not include the color version as well.

Memphis Belle-Kennecot-distant-colorFollowing this flight my daughter and I went into the airfield and waited on the tarmac for it to return, as we were waiting we heard that we would be able to go inside the plane after all the flights were completed. I was willing to wait as long as it took for that to happen so we waited and watched Memphis Belle make flight after flight, each takeoff landing and fly by was as exciting as the first. After almost two hours the tour flights were over and we lined up to walk through this beauty.

Landing-sheel smoke-faux pano-color The Memphis Belle touching down with some wheel smoke with the Draper LDS Temple in the distant background

Memphis Belle_Nose closeup-taxiing-color Memphis Belle_Taxiing-closeup-mtns in background1-BW Memphis Belle-Belly Turret-color Memphis Belle-Nose Art_vert pano-color Memphis Belle-nose closeup-BW1 Pete_Repete_Sepia Smokey start up1-color

Going inside was a dream come true! They used to have airshows at this airfield when I was a teenager and the prettiest B-17 ever the “Sentimental Journey” would often come, but I was always too poor to afford the walk through so 20+ years later it was easy to find enough spare change to “donate’ for the chance for my daughter and I to go inside this flying work of art.

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Check out Gramps and his Rolleiflex! I would love to see what those shots look like.

Memphis Belle-line for entry-fisheyeKyra_LadderMy daughter getting ready to swing up and in. I was not nearly as graceful as she was what with the camera backpack on and all…yeah it was the backpacks fault.

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Memphis Belle_Navigator_Bombadier stations inside-BW

The Bombadier and Navigator stations greet you upon entering the hatch, to reach the cockpit all you do is stand up.

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And the color version

Memphis Belle_Cockpit-fisheye-ColorKyra crossing bombayWalking over the bomb bay catwalk.

For a crazy cool video of some skydivers jumping out of a B-17 on flight watch this video

Looking to the front of the plane from the waist gunner positions you see the belly turret and bomb bay.

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What an amazing experience I was able to share with my daughter who got a pretty good picture of me hanging out with “Pete” and “Repete”.

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That grin? Yeah I had it for a week after this.

Happy Shooting!

Howard

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