01 October, 2011

Profile 59 - UPDATE - "Miss America" as crewed by Howard Jensen and Ken Tesch

Note (10-2-11) - white or yellow Mission Markers?!  THAT is the question!

Posted above is my update to Howard's B-24.  Give me a week and she'll be done.

I learned something new about B-24s that caused a chain reaction that will boggle your brain - regardless if you care about WW2 bombers or not.

It started with learning that "Miss America" was actually a product of The Ford Motor Company.  See that demarcation between the upper "olive drab" color and the light gray on the bomber's bottom?  That's the clue.  The bombers built by Consolidated Aircraft were painted with a straight line. Ford went wavy.

Now, I knew Henry Ford turned America into a manufacturing powerhouse and played a vital role in Allied materiel production in WW2.  But a little research into the matter left me stunned.

Ok.  Clear your head.  It's about to get filled with stuff.

The B-24 remains the most produced strategic bomber in history.  Over 18,000 were built.  Lined up wingtip-to-wingtip, a parade-review would take over SIX HOURS at 60mph!  You'd be sick of B-24s after ten minutes let alone a third of a waking day.

Of those 18,000 B-24s, nearly 8,000 were built by Ford at one manufacturing plant in Willow Run, Michigan.  At peak production, Ford blew 650+ B-24s out the door in a single month!

Now, think of all the aluminum, rubber, fabric, steel, oil, gasoline... that went into the whole lot.  And now, realize that of those 18,000, fewer than 20 complete B-24s exist today.

If you're like me, you wonder, "Where did all of that aluminum, rubber, fabric, steel... go!?"

According to the Law of Conservation of Mass, the total mass of the B-24s still exists.  From frying pans to airborne pollutants, they're all still with us, recycled atom by atom, into the maw of life.

Many of the readers of this blog have a sense of nostalgia for a United States of the past - what's perceived to be a better, sweeter, more productive time.

Thanks to the Ford Motor Company, Miss America is still here.


Maybe your iPhone?

Photo Source:  "B-24 Research Team" via Bob Livingstone.  Artwork and graphic, me.