Loud. Bumpy. Smelly. Cramped. Loud.
And a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Did I mention loud?
That's my takeaway from my flight on the B-17 "Sentimental Journey" this week, thanks to the Fargo Air Museum and Commemorative Air Force's AirPower History Tour.
The B-17 arrived in Fargo on Monday. A B-29 and a B-25, also World War II era bombers, will arrive later this week.
Select media were allowed to take a flight in the "Sentimental Journey," and I was fortunate enough to be selected.
The video I'm posting here is probably too long in the "30-second sound bite" era in which we live, but I wanted to give viewers the full tour from beginning to end. The video shows the cramped space inside the B-17, which had a crew of 10 that flew missions lasting 6-8 hours over enemy territory in sub-zero conditions. It had to be brutal. But our boys did it and, in many ways, ended up turning around the Allies' fortunes in World War II against Nazi Germany.
I apologize ahead of time. The video is very rudimentary (I'm a RADIO guy, not a videographer), but I think it gives a flavor of flying in the "Sentimental Journey."
(Mike McFeely is a talk-show host on KFGO-AM in Fargo, N.D. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcFeelyKFGO.)