Tag Archives: Airplane

Birds of the Mechanical Kind

There are 41 massive C-17 airplanes stationed at Joint Base Charleston which sits just across the Ashley River from Magnolia Plantation, where I take many of my photos. I’ve seen them coming and going many times, sometimes singly and sometimes in groups.

A few weeks ago when I was on the dike three of them flew in together and circled around a few times before landing.

C-17s Circling
C-17s Circling

Circling is a long process for these giants, and they give the illusion of being awfully close together.

C-17s Circling
C-17s Circling

It was five minutes from the time I first spotted them until they dipped below the trees to the runway.

C-17s Circling
C-17s Circling

From Boeing’s website, the C-17:

Wingspan to Winglet Tip 169.8 ft (51.74 m)
Length 174 ft (53.04 m)
Height at Tail 55.1 ft (16.79 m)

Compare to a Boeing 737

Wingspan 117 ft 5 in (35.8 m)
Length  110 ft 4 in (33.6 m)
Height  41 ft 3 in (12.5 m)

B-29 Superfortress FIFI

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress saw active military duty from 1944 through the late 1950s.  “FIFI” was acquired by the Commemorative Air Force in the early 1970s and after extensive restoration travels across the US for air events and to share a piece of history.

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
Commemorative Air Force’s FIFI in Charleston – click image for larger view

FIFI flew into Charleston, SC this week where she is on display for tours and rides are available for the brave. I’ll be staying on the ground!

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
B-29 FIFI’s nose – click image for larger view

The most well known B-29s were the ones outfitted to drop atomic bombs at the end of World War II, including the Enola Gay.

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
Commemorative Air Force FIFI- click image for larger view

The size of this airplane’s parts is impressive. I was standing fully upright below one of the propellers for this shot:

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
B-29 Propeller – click image for larger view

After several days of rain we were also treated to some blue sky today, adding to the B-29’s presentation. You can see the feet of folks waiting their turn to climb up into the cockpit area in the shot below.

Commemorative Air Force Fifi
Commemorative Air Force FIFI, B-29 – click image for larger view

“The CAF was founded to acquire, restore and preserve in flying condition a complete collection of combat aircraft which were flown by all military services of the United States, and selected aircraft of other nations, for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations of Americans.”