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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Warbird Digest
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:06 pm 
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Tuesday, October 16 at 3am CT on TCM

I’ve never seen it and I’m rather certain I’ll be un-amazed but, for the sake of getting to see Kermit Weeks’ B-29, Fertile Myrtle, back in the day when it was actually flyable (I did get to see it fly in person at Chino around 1979/80), I’ll watch it. I’m certain some WIXers know more but, I guess the folks at Disney also cut up some parts from the B-29’s still in the desert at China Lake for certain sequences. Gads!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:24 pm 
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Duly noted. I remember Air Classics doing a long cover story puff piece on this movie. There are some decent flying sequences with the B-29; the crash sequence looks like a traveling matte using a model and thus is very brief:

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As for the rest, well, I guess Disney's paychecks cleared the bank, and Genevieve Bujold can't say Earthquake was her worst movie. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:24 pm 
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According to wiki up to four B-29 airframes (or pieces of) from China Lake were destroyed in the production of the movie. Two for location shots and two for sound studio work. :( Imagine at least one was the fuselage that was flipped upside down and used as the floating "ark". Wonder how watertight it was and if a whole real fuselage was used?

Think I'd rather have a few more real survivors that a forgettable Disney film...Thank goodness for the range at China Lake, or the survivor list would be MUCH shorter.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:44 pm 
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And the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. IIRC most surviving B-29s came from one or the other.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:48 pm 
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... "Fertile Myrtle" at Chino 24 Aug 1979 ...

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:11 pm 
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I was not aware how much Fertile Myrtle had been brought back to bomber configuration from her mother ship role. Are the turrets complete, or just the external parts? Does any hint of the mother ship cut outs remain?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:59 am 
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That photo is a real blast from the past!!

That's me in the white T-shirt. I was changing the turbocharger. Got to go flying in it the next day.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:20 pm 
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I remember seeing fuselages that were used for the movie that were turned back in to government surplus. They were at Pima for a while before they went to the base, Davis Monthan. I believe they were eventually scrapped.

The fuselages had drums of expanding foam in them. It looked like they simply opened the bungs and injected the catalyst and the foam just poured out of the drums and all over the fuselage. This is what made it float.

I heard that one airframe went to Hawaii but I wonder what happened to it after that.

Fertile Myrtle did have repair work and round head rivets (instead of flush) on the fuselage where the openings in the aft bomb bay had been covered over.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:27 am 
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Taigh Ramey wrote:
I heard that one airframe went to Hawaii but I wonder what happened to it after that.
If memory serves, the final scene in the movie is the upside-down B-29 used as a raft, floating toward Waikiki, so that'd make sense if they didn't bother shipping it back to the mainland.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:05 pm 
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I believe that portions of the studio B-29 were also used again in the right Stuff for the interior flight scenes.
The one that went to Hawaii was the one seen on the beach and rolled over to make the "boat". Not sure if it was also used for the floating version.
Jerry

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:37 am 
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If the same B-29 cockpit or interior was used for this and The Right Stuff, how about the TV Enola Gay film and Space Cowboys?

I saw Fertile Mertle at the Mt. Home AFB open house in the summer of 1978. So it did do some flying with the California group.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:10 am 
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Here is Fertile at Weeks Museum.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:19 pm 
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What airfield was used at the beginning of the film? All I can find is "Near Victorville"

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:21 pm 
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I believe it was shot at El Mirage Field Adelanto Airport, El Mirage, CA and that the hangar used in the background was Pancho Barnes' former hangar.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:23 pm 
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JohnB wrote:
If the same B-29 cockpit or interior was used for this and The Right Stuff, how about the TV Enola Gay film and Space Cowboys?

I'm not sure about Space Cowboys, but "Enola Gay" TV film might have used the B-29 nose section once held by Universal Studios, then eventually Taigh Ramey and now in Japan as an art exhibit.

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