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Director Kevin Lucero
Power Program Ent  1992
DVD
48 minutes
Dolby Surround
ISBN:
$19.98
Language: English

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B-25J "PANCHITO"

Host / Pilot Jeff Ethell

Complete walk around

View from the nose in flight

Cockpit view in flight

Gear Down & Locked

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Roaring Glory Warbirds Series
B-25 Mitchell

Roaring Glory B-25 Mitchell is a documentary that takes the viewer inside one of the Pacific's most famous bombers. For aviation enthusiasts, veterans and those who appreciate the timeless sounds of a classic warbird, this video puts you in the cockpit and behind the controls of B-25J-30-NC "PANCHITO" Serial Number 44-32734 for flight above Geneseo, New York.

The video begins with a superb in flight sequence with the Mitchell, with no music or any other distractions to take away from the beauty of this classic bomber, or sounds of its engines in flight. Warbird aficionados will appreciate extensive views of the B-25J including dramatic views from the the nose position, looking over top the .50 caliber machine gun. The introduction ends with the bomber landing on a grass strip, just like it would have on may Pacific airfields, and host Jeff Ethell emerging from the cockpit to introduce the program.

Host Jeff Ethell takes the audience on a tour of the bomber, its cockpit and controls, electric systems and gun positions. He goes through the bomber's preflight procedure - checking the engine's oil, fuel and hydraulic levels. Aspects of the Mitchell's quality engineering are highlighted, and how the bomber was designed with safety in mind to accommodate young pilots with only 200 hours of experience. Its controls were regarded as heavy but the bomber will go exactly where you want. Ethell feels there is no better multi-engine WWII cockpits in terms of its straight forward layout.

Preflight in the B-25
Next, the viewer accompanies the Mitchell on a flight. The audio is their microphone conversation, which serves as an excellent commentary about preflight procedures and flight operations. There is excellent cutting between view of pilots, instruments, and exterior shots of all aspects related to take off and taxing of the bomber. For those interested in the nuances of the B-25 performance, quirks and handling, both pilots discuss a range of topics, including how the Mitchell's nose wheel had no steering, forcing the pilot to use differential power to prevent the oscillation of wheel known to pilots as the "Baghdad Dance". Or details like the plane's fuel consumption, feathering checks, and the final takeoff check list.

Historical Recreations
The video has several historical reenactment segments, where actors in 5th Air Force uniforms climb into the plane and recreate the past. These segments are shot in a sepia tone to approximate WWII film stock, and footage from the 500th BG "Air Apaches" combat film adds dramatic combat action to the drama. A second sequence details force landing a Mitchell over Lingayen in the Philippines without its right-side stabilizer. Both segments remind the viewer of the deadly purpose of this plane nearly sixty years ago.

Aerial Sequences
The viewer takes to the sky with the Mitchell for a series of maneuvers over the beautiful tree covered country side. The camera cuts between an exterior view from the adjacent chase plane and inside the bomber for views from the cockpit, over the pilots shoulders and from the forward nose position. The B-25 performs open bomb bay and bombing run approaches for the camera, and the pilots discuss procedures about loosing an engine, and flying single engine.

Dolby Surround Sound
Recorded in Dolby Surround Sound, simply hearing this tape is impressive, as it utilizes the best audio standards for VHS tape, the sounds of the Mitchell's engines, on the ground and in the air during maneuvers and level flight.

Approach and Landing
The end sequence of B-25 in flight set to a classical music score is a dramatic conclusion to this timeless aircraft. As the bomber begins its approach, the wheels are lowered and 1/4 flaps position the plane to cross the airfield at 120mph. As the Mitchell touches down for a perfect landing, both pilots perform their post-landing check list while taxing. As it costs $1,000 - 1,500 an hour for fuel, maintenance and insurance, to fly a B-25 yourself, this video is closest most enthusiast will get.

Highly recommended for an excellent study of the B-25 Mitchell, on the ground and in the air. Unlike many other warbird videos out there, this video is excellent in terms of production values, historical information and aerial cinematography that let the sight and sound of this warbird take center stage.

Review by  Justin Taylan

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Last Updated
May 23, 2017


 
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