These B-17 Low-Level Passes Will Bring A Nostalgic Tear To Your Eye

These low-level passes featuring one of the most ‘romantic’ aircraft ever built, the World War II era Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, are just stunning. Supposedly, they were filmed at RAF Bovingdon for the 1962 film The War Lover starring Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner, and Shirley Field.

I can’t remember seeing the movie, but I sure love the other star in it, the one with four R1820 Wright Cyclone radial engines and 13 .50 cal machine guns.

Apparently, the aircraft shown in these scenes was an ex PB-1W. The flying was done by acclaimed Hollywood stunt flyer John Crewdson, who flew the plane solo for the most dangerous flying shots. You can learn all about the aviation-side of the The War Lover’s production here.


It is fascinating to think that some 75 years after its first flight, the B-17 is still an intimidating looking machine. Some of the angles in that awesome little montage reminded me of this classic anti-littering ad from Texas Department of Transportation!:

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