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What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??


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  #1  
Old 01-20-2006, 08:28:23 PM
oldironmike oldironmike is offline
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Photo What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Hello folks

I bought this from an oldtimer that told me it was a heater out of a B-29 or B-17 Bomber could it be? Does anyone have any Idea? The engine is a gasser and has the carb about 14 " from the head It turns over but no spark currently. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2006, 09:16:35 PM
Kevin Woodruff Kevin Woodruff is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this?? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

The B-29 and newer bombers had engines like that. they are the original APU. Before jet engines they used little engines like these to both give some warmth, and generate electrical power for the aircraft before engine start, and on the ground. The B-17 was not that high tek. They only had electrically heated suites to "attempt" to stay warm. KW
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2006, 10:55:19 PM
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Junkologist Junkologist is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this?? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Looks like a Lauson engine to me.

Mike
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Old 01-20-2006, 11:21:26 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is online now
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Exclamation Re: What the Heck is this?? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Several years ago, an attempt was made to salvage a B-29 in Alaska (I think). The plane was rescued from a lake, was nearly completely overhauled, and had new engines installed. The salvors were in a hurry to get the plane out before winter was over (they needed the iced over lake foe the runway). As they were taxiing for take off - the APU broke loose from its jury rigged mount, and lit the plane on fire. it was a total loss, literally burning itself to pieces. I saw it in a History channel special.
Andrew
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Old 01-21-2006, 05:21:11 AM
Ironman Ironman is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Oldironmike- That is a very interesting and historical unit that you have there! I wish I could find something like that for my collection, being that I collect engines and I am also a pilot and own two airplanes. Even though I find your heating unit/auxilliary power unit to be very interesting, after a cold day of flying I would still MUCH rather have my "harem of hotties with hooters" warm me up.

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  #6  
Old 01-21-2006, 07:31:50 AM
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Ray Cardoza Ray Cardoza is offline
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Talking Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

You da man! ironman
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:58:37 AM
Kevin Woodruff Kevin Woodruff is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this?? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey
Several years ago, an attempt was made to salvage a B-29 in Alaska (I think). The plane was rescued from a lake, was nearly completely overhauled, and had new engines installed. The salvors were in a hurry to get the plane out before winter was over (they needed the iced over lake foe the runway). As they were taxiing for take off - the APU broke loose from its jury rigged mount, and lit the plane on fire. it was a total loss, literally burning itself to pieces. I saw it in a History channel special.
Andrew

Andrew,
I saw that too. It made me sick. That airplane was brand new(but old). The only time on it was the few hours of flight time to where it sat all those years. I was raised up in aviation. My dad is a retired Aeronautical Engineer. And I make a living keeping a corporate flight departments Jets maintained. Aviation is very unforgiving. You just can't pull of the road and fix what is wrong. I love preserving all things old. So seeing one of only a hand full of B-29's left burn to the ground was pretty tuf. I am glad it was not me that made that mistake! How would you explain to your $ backers that you just burned their 15 to 20 mill B-29 to the ground because you did not secure an APU correctly!
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Old 01-21-2006, 11:30:04 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this?? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Woodruff
How would you explain to your $ backers that you just burned there 15 to 20 mill B-29 to the ground because you did not secure an APU correctly!
Kevin:

I saw the same documentary. The head mechanic on their crew got sick and died during their effort. The plane was in, I think, Iceland or Greenland.

Also, why, oh why, didn't they shut down the APU before taxiing the plane! That's got to be one of the dumber things I've seen. As I recall, you're not supposed to run those things when the plane is moving. After the engines are started, the engine driven generator(s) supply all the power. Could be wrong on that one, though.

Take care - Elden
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:02:43 PM
Kevin Woodruff Kevin Woodruff is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this?? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

I thought it was Greenland, but I could not rember for sure. It should have been shut down right after engine start. Haste makes waist! I rember about the mechanic. That is what made me so mad about the hole thing. The por gie died for nuthing, but a pile of burnt metal. So sad!
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2006, 12:51:35 PM
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Don't take it to the bank, but I believe the APU needs to be on..The old generators at flight idle don't connect to the bus. Had to do with hydraulic taxi/steering I believe....after takeoff,,dunno.

It was a shame

RickinMt.
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Old 01-21-2006, 01:42:38 PM
Edward Cole Edward Cole is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

I was in the NAVY air in the early 60's .Flying sea planes . We ran the apu all the time to run all the elect. equip. These were jet driven, inside the back end. What screamers they were. you could not hear a thing because of them probly why i cant hear so well now days. ED WA.
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Old 01-21-2006, 01:45:40 PM
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

I don't recognize the heater. Atlas Aircraft Products made a lot of military stuff using Lauson engines. I bet that unit puts out a fair amount of heat!


For the Kee Bird story, this will get you started:

http://www.b29keebird.net/main.html

The show most saw was one of the PBS "Nova" series, a favorite of mine. While we were all sickened watching it, it was a hellofa show.

The first time I saw it was shocker! I thought it was going to fly off then.......NO !!!!

I hope that crew member kept the compass he'd removed from the panel all those years ago.

Who know, maybe the remains will be recovered in the long future, if there is anything left.

Thanks for showing us the heater. Nice unit. Sorry to digress.
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:15:31 PM
Heller D. Davis Heller D. Davis is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Looks just like the heaters we used in the Air Force in the early fiftys to warm up the struts on helicopters when it was freezing weather.
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:20:34 PM
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

If you liked the B-29 documentry that everyone is talking about (B-29 FROZEN IN TIME) check out a documentry called (GLACIER GIRL) It is also about a World War II plane (P-38 Lightning) from the lost squadron that was rescued from Greenland. Brought up out of 268 feet of solid ice. The P-38 is know completly restored and flying. I believe the photo that Ironman posted shows this (P-38 Lightning GLACIER GIRL) in the back ground if you can look past the hooters girls. Below is the Lost Squadron website. They have DVD's and VHS of this if you are interested. I have the DVD and it is very interesting.

P.S... I have one of the APU units that was used in B-17's & B-29's but it is just the engine. The generator has been removed. The engines were V-twins made by Fairchild I believe.

http://www.thelostsquadron.com/
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Old 01-21-2006, 10:14:31 PM
Ironman Ironman is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

John- That is, in fact, Glacier Girl in the picture of me with the "Glacier Girls". I took LOTS of pictures of the P-38 while it was at Oshkosh this past July. I will soon be making a trip down to Kentucky to The Lost Squadron Museum to take more pictures of the plane without a huge crowd around it like there was up at Oshkosh. The story of the recovery and restoration of Glacier Girl is absolutely amazing, and I also urge all of you Stakers to check it out. The efforts of the people involved in the project were nothing short of incredible. I had a huge amount of interest in the project since I first found out that there was a crew trying to locate the squadron of planes that were buried under the ice. Before the regular airshow performers would "burn up the sky" during the afternoon airshows at Oshkosh, there was always a "Heritage Flight". Well- probably the prettiest sight I will ever see in my lifetime was the Heritage Flight that was done on Wednesday at Oshkosh. Participating in the flight were the P-38 "Glacier Girl", a P-51 Mustang, an F-4 Phantom, and I believe an F-15. I'm really into the WWII era warbirds and I'm not really familiar with the newer military planes, but I do know that I am correct on the first 3 planes. Anyway, the planes made a pass past the crowd, and then they all separated and rolled during the separation. I couldn't believe what I saw!!! The significance of that flight with two WWII aircraft, a Vietnam era aircraft and a modern military aircraft all flying a tight formation together actually made me misty eyed. When they separated and rolled, I actually got a bit choked up. It was the most beautiful sight I HAVE ever and probably WILL ever see in my lifetime. I'm going to try to attach a picture of the formation before they split off into their rolls. I hope it works and if it does, I hope you enjoy the picture.
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:14:56 AM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Hey Ironman- you're on the wrong side of the rope in the photo !! LOL Oh well, you're a lot closer than me!

I read about the P-38's when they were first re-located and then saw the National Geographic special on the recovery some years later. I guess they're gonna leave the Fort in there because they figure it is ground to pieces.

The B-17 APU and B-29 APU are totally different and don't resemble each other at all if I have my limited info correct. Also, I've been told that not all B-17's had one fitted which kind of makes sense.

You don't really need it when you're on a bombing mission- you either get back or you don't and the extra weight of the apu was not something those guy's were likely to want.

You can read many stories of the crew tossing any extra stuff overboard- guns, radios, what have you, to get rid of the weight so they MIGHT get back home.
Fairchild does seem to be a name I recall for the StratoFortress apu unit's engine.
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:37:31 AM
Reed K Reed K is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Ironman, I also saw the heritage flight, one of the most awsome sights I have ever seen at an air show! PS The baby jet was a F- 16 .
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:17:54 AM
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Here is a shot of the apu in the B-17 909 taken at a fly-in in Keene, NH this past year. I didn't recognize the mfgr on the data tag. I was in a time warp and didn't study it very close at the time. I'd just listened to a fellow who had been a ground crew chief in '44 in England and I guess I was sort of "over there".
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:55:38 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Looks like a Homelite unit to me.

Bill
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:33:10 PM
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Default Re: What the Heck is this? from a B-17 or B-29 ??

Here are a couple of pix of Glacier Girl taken at Langley AFB.
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