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Charmion BS: crash of a B-17, with fatalities (15) RE: BS: crash of a B-17, with fatalities 05 Oct 19

Flying an antique aircraft is an act in defiance of both gravity and entropy. I was once a medic on an fighter base in Germany, and you’d never get me up in one of those raised-from-the-dead war birds.

Jack Campin’s point, that a Second World War aircraft has exceeded its planned service life by decades — nay, generations! — is critical. But those who go all gooey at the sight of a Lancaster, Spitfire or B-17 in flight today should also consider how difficult they are to fly — and always were.

Modern aircraft are built on a century’s worth of design experience that has largely eliminated the vices experienced by war-time pilots, such as the torque created by radial engines that caused some aircraft to pull constantly to one side. And bombers such as the B-17 were new technology when they were built. I don’t like the idea of leaving terra firma in ancient new technology.

Here in southwestern Ontario, we are sometimes treated to the sight of the “Mynarski Lanc”, an Avro Lancaster Mk III in the colours of 6 Group Bomber Command, flown by Canadian Warplane Heritage out of Hamilton. I admire the effort and skill it represents, but I can never repress a shiver of dread whenever I see it in the air, especially over downtown Toronto.

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