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Old 03-30-2015, 02:05 PM   #1
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Airstream / B-17 "Nose Art"

As a kid growing up, I had always been fascinated by the B-17 Bomber from WWII. I probably made about a dozen models and watched every movie and documentary about them.

Later in life, I began my skydiving career, which only furthered my appreciation for aircraft. By far, my most memorable skydive to date was when I had the opportunity to actually skydive out of the bomb bay doors of an actual B-17 bomber departing from an airshow. Just taxing and flying in one was a dream come true, let alone getting to straddle the bomb bay doors as they slowly opened up below me to expose the airport. Then I was able to exit on my back and look back up at the aircraft flying off in the distance. Surreal to say the least.

That brings me to last September when I went to the RV show in Hershey, PA. I had already planned on taking a year off of work and traveling the country visiting friends, skydiving, and BASE jumping. I had already picked out (3) models of 5th wheel RV's that would be perfect for a yearlong adventure. The show was the opportunity to compare the (3). At the show, I happened by the Airstream section first and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I probably spent an hour in the 27' EB Airstream, thoroughly inspecting it. I went on to find all the other models of 5th wheels that I deemed perfect for my needs... and after visiting all of them, I was sold on the Airstream. Perhaps its the aircraft styled aluminum riveted skin, aircraft type door, or the nostalgia of it, but I ended up putting the down payment on a 27' FB EB that day.

Now I'm about 2 weeks from leaving. Late one happy hour, with an associate who has an artist for a daughter, somehow the idea came up to put nose art on the Airstream in the same manner as the old WWII bombers. The "squirrel" nickname goes way back... more akin to a flying squirrel (yes, I jump one of those squirrel suits). I'll be turning 42, and most of the BASE jumping crowd is in their 20's, so I'm typically the 'old veteran' of the group with all the war wounds. I asked Sarah to paint an image of a bad-ass looking, old battle tested looking squirrel with some scars... attached is what she came up with.

I rarely see mods like this, so I'm not sure if this is frowned upon or not. From a re-sale perspective (if I ever sell) its fully contained on the stainless stone guard, so easily replaceable. If nothing else, I'll be able to pick out my airstream quite easily from a distance...

p.s. - I'm the one in the tye-dye shirt in the group photo and those are my feet in the photo looking down out the bomb bay doors...
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:35 PM   #2
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Love nose art. Check out my B-17 avatar, ALUMINUM OVERCAST. Got to take a peak at this plane at a local airport in my home town. The squirrel is coooool
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:49 PM   #3
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Airstream interiors remind Doug and I of the Navy aircraft we worked on and flew in during our Navy careers, not to mention the riveted aluminum. Your design fits well with the concept and looks terrific.

cheryl
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:00 PM   #4
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The third pic....is that Squirrel Cage floor rot?????? At 20k?
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:10 PM   #5
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Way cool. But still wondering about why leave a perfectly good flying airplane! I'd rather stay and listen to the big radials.
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:26 PM   #6
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Still the best engines I ever heard was a Lancaster coming in for a landing at the Duxford air show in England. I was 15 and it was a pivotal moment in the development of my love for raw machinery. There was a B17 at that show as well, which I got to tour.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:46 PM   #7
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B-17 Nose Art

Rather than have one painted, do a Google search and look for WWII art. I'm Retired Air Force and I have a picture of an eagle that states "Freedom isn't Free" on one side of my TT and the American Flag on the other. You can get these in many sizes and they come either in magnetic or peel and stick. A lot cheaper with the same effect.

Enjoy your Travels
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:46 PM   #8
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Whoa, I didn't realize most of the nose art was NSFW!
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:48 PM   #9
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I, too am a fan of the WWII bomber nose art. I think what you have is so cool.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:18 PM   #10
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EXCELLENT!!! Envious!!!!
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:15 PM   #11
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We had the following made as a matching pair about 3 years ago:

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Old 03-30-2015, 10:36 PM   #12
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so.....whats new?

It sounds good to me.
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Old 03-30-2015, 11:36 PM   #13
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Base729,
Nice job on the "squirrel cage". Love the nose art!
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:35 PM   #14
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Just Love the idea!

Remember to "Keep the Shiny Side Up" when parking!
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