Anyway, WJ got to go up and even got to fly the plane around a bit. And we got to walk up and touch a B-17. Rides in the B-17 were $395, so we didn't do that, but we did get to see it take off and land and taxi around from only a few feet away. I think the airplane in the first Twilight Zone movie (the one where the guy was stuck in the belly turret and the landing gear would not come down or had been blown off or whatever) was a B-17 and it does look like a cartoon even in the flesh (aluminium?): huge, thick, wings; tires almost as tall as me; four monstrous engines with prop blades longer than a man is tall. The only small parts are where the people go; it's very cramped in that respect. It's like a caricature of an airplane; you can't believe it's real, but it is. You can touch the machine guns pointing out of the tail. You get a face full of dust as it pivots on the tarmac to leave. It was not, however, anywhere near as loud as I thought it would be. It made the proverbial dull roar, not the sharp cracking buzz that most reciprocating engine aircraft make. I'm enough of a geek/nerd/child that I was actually thrilled. It was cool!
And there was a detachment of Chinookers (CH-47 helicopter crews) from Kansas come to maneuver in our desert, so we got to look at them up close. And a Sikorsky Sky Crane fitted out for fighting forest fires with a 2700 gallon water tank and big old hoses for refilling itself from lakes while still airborne.
Anyway, I had fun. I hope the tykester did, too.