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Sound from B-17 Sentimental Journey is featured on "Masters of the Air"

(Mesa, Arizona, February 21, 2024) - When it comes to World War II aircraft like the B-17, loudness is a given. Powered by four 1,200-horsepower Wright R-1820-97 Cyclones, this beast of a plane produces a deafening roar. Imagine wartime missions, where these engines ran full throttle with turbochargers on, making it an extra noisy journey for crewmembers near those massive radial engines. Even with earplugs, usually just some cotton stuffed in the ears, crews often faced hearing problems.

So, when the producers of the new Apple TV+ series "Masters of the Air" needed authentic sounds, they wanted the real deal. The "Masters of the Air" production team meticulously crafted two full-scale replicas for ground scenes, while all airborne action, from takeoffs to dogfights, was brought to life using CGI. But for authentic sounds, they turned to Sentimental Journey.

Operated and maintained by CAF Airbase Arizona, Sentimental Journey is one of the few airworthy B-17 Flying Fortresses left, authentically restored to its former glory. The production crew got to work in April 2022, placing microphones inside the plane and around the airfield during pilot training flights, capturing the raw sounds needed for the series.

Starring Austin Butler, Callum Turner, and Barry Keoghan, "Masters of the Air" was produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, marking their third World War II miniseries after “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific.” But for the folks at Airbase Arizona, it's their B-17,* Sentimental Journey*, that steals the spotlight.

The series premiered on January 26, 2024, with the first two episodes on Apple TV+. CAF members gathered at the Airbase Arizona hangar for the premiere, erupting into cheers when they saw “B-17 Flight Recording Arranged by Commemorative Air Force, Airbase Arizona” in the closing credits.

Even though the last B-17s were retired over 50 years ago, their legacy lives on through preservation efforts like those of the Commemorative Air Force and the tales of those who built and flew them. As for Sentimental Journey's role in “Masters of the Air” it proves that being heard is just as crucial as being seen, as the thunderous roar of its Cyclone engines echoes true history.

Want to learn more? Annie Flodin, one of the Boeing Historians, has written a great Boeing News Now article on Sentimental Journey’s sound contribution to Masters of the Air.

Click Here to Read More

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