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Director Kevin Lucero
Power Program Ent  1998
43 minutes
Index, photos
Cover Price:
Language: English

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Roaring Glory Warbirds Vol. 4
TBM Avenger

Hosted by Steve Hinton. This DVD brings the viewer up close and in flight with the Grumman TBM Avenger. Designed as a Replacement for the TBD Devestator - its wartime production reached over 9,000 aircraft built, with even General Motors building them. Flown by single pilot, rear turret gunner and a bombardier / navigator. Veritile in mission, it could be used as a torpedo bomber, level bomber, or scout. The aircraft featured in the DVD is painted in the markers of former president George Bush's TBM colors and markings as it flew in the Pacific, complete with "Barbara" painted on side of cockpit.

Walkaround the TBM
This is a massive aircraft in size. The disc begins with a walkaround to check cylinder heads, oil leaks, and to explore the unique intricacies of the aircraft, including the fold wing system. Other interesting details, like the two sliding canopy hatches - one on both side were unique to this aircraft.

Next, Hinton proceeds with the cockpit check and explains to the viewer the process of starting this massive aircraft - nine blades rotate by before hitting magnetos for ignition. Next, the engine is warmed up at 1,000 rpms or less - then the wings are swung out and taxing can begin. Its massive Wright Cyclone 14 cylinder 1,900 hp engine was not designed aerobatics. Rather, this reliable radial engine brought its crews home.

TBM in Flight
The plane's massive tail surfaces are the reason why pilots remember the controls as heavy. Despite this, the plane can be flown hands off, and the spacious cockpit was designed for the 1,000 mile range that the plane was capable of flying. There was even a chart table that slid forward in the cockpit. Hinton takes the plane through a series of maneuvers - including stalls, yaws, turns gear down flight. For viewers this is a unique chance to see inside the cockpit and fly along side this classic warbird in flight.

Multianges Section
This product fully utilizes the DVD medium, with an impressive multiangle section, that allows the viewer to watch the TBM taking off, approaching, and landing from three different viewpoints in real time. The viewer can decide where to watch the action - from an exterior chase plane to the side, from inside the cockpit with host Steve Hinton or looking over top the engine cowl, in the same position as the gunsight.

Part II The Young Pilots
The DVD contains a reenactment sequence called the Young Ploits that recreates the carrier of young Harry Bagera, a senior at the University of Missouri in 1941, and how Navy recruiters visited the campus, and convinced him and his roommate to enlist. The short film utilizes actors using the TBM as a set, and wartime stock footage to show what the nine months of training was like for Avenger pilots - including how to drop torpedoes, drop bombs and lay mines.

At 23, Bagera joined Air Group 86 of forty different planes. Assigned two enlisted men he flew with the same crew for over a year. After crossing the Pacific, Harry flew his first combat mission in March 14, 1945 - for search and destroy missions over Japan including aerial combat, dive bombing runs, kamikaze attacks and operational losses and the exhilaration of sinking the cruiser Iota off Japan.

Training Film
The DVD also contains a six part WWII training film about how to fly and operate the TBM Avenger. A typical example of WWII flight film, this is an added bonus for those interested in seeing vantage footage of the Avenger and what exactly young recruits were shown and instructed about this bomber.

Several photo sections allows the viewer to preview still images in a "Family Album" section and "Pilot's Handbook " that contain dozens of images and diagrams. The disc also includes previews of other Roaring Glory warlord DVDs. Included are trailers for their F4U, A6M, P-38, P-47, F6F each is about two minutes long and introduces other warbirds in the "Roaring Glory" series.

Review by  Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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