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I got to climb into a Boeing B 17 recently at the Camarillo Airport where many warbirds are based or visit. the Flying Fotress started out as project 299 and was actually preceeded by an even bigger single design eventually registered as the XB-15.

The USAAC was replacing the Martin B 10s and the apparent next generation bomber was a varient of the famous DC3/C 47.

The Boeing rep was actually tossed out of the General in charge of development's office when he saw the unit price. later, when a 4 engine bomber was desired, a stripped down version was procured.

I sat in the bombadier's seat, thinking of the scene in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVE'S.
I think Boeing, unions, in fact all of us let something go to the scrap heap along with those old warbirds.
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