View Full Version : Funny engine comparison a B-17 pilot sent me...

12-03-2005, 08:57 AM
This was from my friend and neighbor of years ago, he flew B-17's out of Italy. He is also, BTW, mostly deaf, which he attributes to a particularly troublesome B-17 engine he had.

We gotta get rid of those turbines; they're ruining aviation and our
hearing... A turbine is too simple minded, it has no mystery. The air
travels through it in a straight line and doesn't pick up any of the
pungent fragrance of engine oil or pilot sweat.

Anybody can start a turbine. You just need to move a switch from
"OFF" to "START" and then remember to move it back to "ON" after a
while. My computer is harder to start.

Cranking a radial engine requires skill, finesse and style. You
have to seduce it into starting. It's like waking up a *****
mistress. On some planes, the pilots aren't even allowed to do it€¦

Turbines start by whining for a while, then give a lady-like poof
and start whining a little louder.

Radial engines give a satisfying rattle-rattle, click-click, BANG,
more rattles, another BANG, a big macho fart or two, more clicks, a
lot more smoke and finally a serious low pitched roar. We like that.
It's a GUY thing€¦

When you start a radial engine, your mind is engaged and you can
concentrate on the flight ahead. Starting a turbine is like flicking
on a ceiling fan. It is useful, but hardly exciting.

When you have started his radial engine successfully, your crew
chief looks up at you like he'd let you kiss his girl too!

Turbines don't break or catch fire often enough, which leads to
aircrew boredom, complacency and inattention. A radial engine at
speed looks and sounds like it's going to blow any minute. This
helps concentrate the mind! Turbines don't have enough control levers
or gauges to keep a pilot's attention. There's nothing to fiddle with
during long flights.

Turbines smell like a Boy Scout camp full of Coleman Lamps. Radial
engines smell like God intended machines to smell.

12-03-2005, 09:30 AM
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12-03-2005, 10:19 AM
Having been in the immediate vicinity of a B-17 starting its engines on more than one occasion, I have to say that the writer was absolutely on the money. There is nothing like it.

It makes me want to replace my S10's 2 liter 4-banger with a radial...wonder what kind of mileage I'd get with that?



12-03-2005, 10:32 AM
Haha, I like that.

I use to just sit there while playing the B-17 simulator having a blast just turning on all 4 engines.

12-03-2005, 11:15 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gifLike it...and so true..

isnt this right about everything in life though?, this is the reason i prefer to ride my old Triumph...the sound, starting her,the maintenance, the way the whole bike feels, riding at 30mph is fun, on modern machinery its sooo boring, feels like your riding a sewing machine...but isnt this true for everything new v's old whether its cars, motorcycles heck even lawnmowers...the old has character, the new does its job efficiently, quietly and with no input or knowledge required of how to fix it, if it breaks down...although nice, its still dull, thanks for posting