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How To Start The B-17 Engine

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Uploaded on Apr 7, 2010

The B-17 engine starter was a inertia starter. The starter motor spun a heavy flywheel inside the starter.It took up 15 seconds for flywheel build up enough speed to turn the engine. When the co-pilot hit the mesh switch, that's when the flywheel engaged the engine starter gear.
A hand crank could be inserted into the starter and the flywheel could be brought to speed by hand to start the engine when the batteries were low and with no external power available.
Capt. Arthur Kennedy who plays the instructor in this film, was a actor on Broadway and in movies before joining the AAF. After leaving the Military, he remained in show business until his death in 1990. I don't know if he ever was a AAF Pilot.

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