Re: B-17 Wing Covering Thickness

Hi all,
>I was watching "Trucks!" on Spike TV. The guy's new project is a 41 Dodge
>Military truck. His theme is to connect with the Memphis Belle. In one of
>the scenes of the work on the Belle, several guys are removing the wing
>covering. At first, I thought it must be fabric like a WWI airplane because
>of how it peeled off. But, they said it was aluminum. I guess I know that
>everything on an airplane is as light as possible. However, I didn't
>realize the aluminum coverings were about as thin as three sheets of paper >put together.
>Jerry 47
>
>
you can poke through the skin with a pencil.
Reply to
e
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"jerry 47" wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com:
I rode on the CAF B-17. It was very frightening sitting in there having seen the skin as we entered and putting your hands on it as we flew to realize how thin the skin was. It was virtually no more than a wind break. I pity the poor bastards who rode in them and got shot at by German fighters and flak, realizing how little protection they had.
How they got those men to go back every day is beyond me. You couldn't put together that much guts today.
Reply to
Gray Ghost
If the skin was that thin, what was there to stop it peeling away after a flak or cannon hit? Especially if the hole was near or at the wing leading edge...
Don Watters
Reply to
Don Watters
If you are in the Michigan area this Saturday (April 2), and want to get up close and personal with a B-17G, stop by Hangar 2 at the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Bring some soft cloths and a can of Mother's Magnesium and Alumium Polish and you can climb on, and shine up the "Yankee Lady". Get on the wing and check out the thickness yourself. No admission fees.
Also, Aug 6 & 7 we'll have the largest gathering of WW2 Bombers in the world. B-29, B-24s, B-17s, B-25s and more.
More info at out website
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and at
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Sorry for the cheap plug...now back to the discussion...
Reply to
Kos
Back in WWII, the skins of the various surfaces were not nearly as load bearing (i.e., stressed-skin construction) as they are today. Back then the ribs, spars and stringers took all (or almost all) of the stress. The skin thickness on a 747 or 777 is anywhere from 0.25" to maybe as much as an inch, depending upon local stresses.
Nick
Reply to
Nick
We used to offer a free lunch for the volunteers, but we lost everything else in the hangar fire last year, including our kitchen. I hope no one shows up hungry this year!
Reply to
Kos
I am sorry, that is a silly statement about the lack of courage of American young men and women since WWII.
Reply to
old hoodoo
FWIW Bullets and shrapnel from AAA usually just punched holes. Hits by 20 mm or 30 mm, which exploded when they hit and tore, they would lead to tearing peeling of the skin.
Bill Shuey
Reply to
William H. Shuey
Perhaps "silly"...but sadly, all-too-true with far more people today, than back then. How many people do you personally know today...who will not even drink "tap water"? Can you imagine those of the "Evian Water Crowd"; trying to cross the Great Plains in a wagon train?...lol
Reply to
Greg Heilers
Set up some grills; and invite the "volunteers" to BYOB (Bring Your Own BBQ). Make a big "good will" party out of it. Oh...you guys up in the northern frontiers *do* BBQ, don't you?
:o)
Reply to
Greg Heilers
...the sillier thing is that we don't even have half the industrial capacity to produce and shape the raw materials to build the aircraft, tanks, and ships in the numbers seen during the 1940s for the youngsters to be afraid of going to war in in the first place.
And THAT ought to scare everyone...
Reply to
Rufus
We don't need those kinds of numbers anymore. How many B-17s does just one B-2 replace? How many WWII carriers does just one of today's CVNs replace? Etc...
Reply to
Al Superczynski
in article snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com, jerry 47 at snipped-for-privacy@hiwaay.net wrote on 3/27/05 5:54 AM:
It wasn't just the B-17. It was the main reason the Zero (even thinner!) was so maneuverable.
For a bomber to get into the air, have any thing like decent range, and carry a bomb load, it was required to have a light but strong airframe. As thin as the skin might have been, it was still a good airplane and capable of taking a lot of punishment.
MB
Reply to
Milton Bell
but truthfully, will we ever get into a war that lasts years? munitions use in battles is up a huge percentage. how long could major batlles and wars last? a few weeks? will we ever need 40k aircraft? war has changed dramatically, even conventional weapons are way different. it doesn't take 1000 bombers to destroy factories. i also really believe that if the efluvium really impacted the impellar, enough young people would give a damn to do it again. patriotism may not be in vogue today, but is your mother's ass on the line? your sweetheart? yours?
Reply to
e
exactly. we can go one on one with anyone technically equal and easily slaughter ranks of cannon fodder. can you say republican guard? they were outclassed. what was it, a company of abrams killed a battilion of them russian tanks the iraqis had? in about 20 minutes?
Reply to
e
and i erred about the pencil...not on the wings, but you could put one through the fuselage skin. in fact, i remember reading about erasers being used as plugs on missions. (must have been smal cal)
Reply to
e
Snip
Said the Texican to the Hoosier: "What kind of critters do Y'all barbeque, up there in Indiana?" Replyed the Hoosier to the Texican: "Kentuckians"
*Smirk*
-Kevin (Half Hoosier, half Texican)
Reply to
Kevin M. Vernon

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