08 March, 2011

Profile 46 - "Satan's Chillen"

I couldn't bear the previous paltry sketch, so I fleshed out the study a bit tonight. These little pencil sketches are important to me because they help train my mind for the airplane's proportions.

Bombers have never been my 'thing.'  Temperament-wise, I can't imagine the idea of riding along in what is essentially a military bus, stuck to my office. Sitting or standing for a 3, 4, 5, 6 hour mission is hard to fathom, don't you think?

There's an interesting analog between a WW2 bomber and many people's work environment - their cubicle, their office, is their position.  Pilot, bombardier, gunner, navigator...CEO, Director, Sales, Marketing...  More than once, I've thought about this while driving the family in the mini-van; the grocery store is the target, the kids are the gunners (usually shooting each other) and my wife, the navigator and bombardier.

"We forgot the milk!  Back to Target!" (ha ha)

Amused?  I am.  Until I remember just how thin the aluminum skin on a B-17 was.  And I remember the recollections of those who remember seeing the telltale flickers of the wing and nose guns mounted on the German fighters.  And how holes would suddenly appear in the airplane as flak and cannon fire sliced out chunks the bomber's flesh.  Or crew's.

Maybe that's how some people feel about their offices these days - wondering if a layoff or firing is going to happen.

Maybe I'm being too philosophical.  But, as Satan's Chillen comes to life here, expect more as I share the story of her particularly successful bombardier as he describes his, well -  job - in a way you've never heard before.

That's him - far left, kneeling, first row.

Crew photo courtesy 401st Bombardment Group Association