Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress


A pair of restored B-17Gs
The foreground plane is a Douglas-Long Beach B-17G-85-DL, flown by the Confederate Air Force as "Sentimental Journey";
the background B-17 is a Lockheed-Vega B-17G-70-VE, used as flying museum by Vintage Flying Machines of Ft. Worth, TX.
The B-17 is the most famous US World War 2 bomber, even if the Consolidated B-24 Liberator was built in greater numbers and could carry more bombs.

The early career of the B-17 was not very successful, because its ability to defend itself against enemy fighters had been overestimated. So the B-17s defensive armament was increased all through its career, and the USAAF used it in large flight of planes flying in tight formation for a better mutual protection.

When its "little friend" the P-51 Mustang became operational and was able to escort the B-17 and B-24 from Britain to deep Germany and back, the third Reich's doom was definitively sealed.


Development

Y1B-17 service test aircraft
One of the thirteen Y1B-17 service test aircrafts of 1936-1937.
Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress
Engines Four Wright R-1820-97 Cyclone radials 4x 1,200 hp (WEP: 4x 1380 hp)
Weight empty: 15,422 kg (34,000 lb) - maximum: 25,628 kg (56,500 lb)
Armament One 7.7mm (.30 cal) and nine 12.7 mm (.50 cal) defensive machine guns.
Ordnance Three 450 kg (1,000 lb), six 225 kg (500 lb), or twenty-four 45 kg (100 lb) bombs.
Performance Max speed: 523 km/h (325 mph) Ceiling: 11,430 m (37,500 ft)
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
Engines Four Wright R-1820-97 Cyclone radials 4x 1,200 hp (WEP: 4x 1380 hp)
Weight empty: 14,842 kg (32,720 lb) - maximum: 32,658 kg (72,000 lb)
Armament Thirteen 12.7 mm (.50 cal) defensive machine guns.
Ordnance Three 450 kg (1,000 lb), six 225 kg (500 lb), or twenty-four 45 kg (100 lb) bombs.
Performance Max speed: 483 km/h (300 mph) Ceiling: 10,668 m (35,000 ft)

Stof's notes about this plane in iMOL's WarBirds

The opinions expressed below are only my own, and nothing more...
The B-17 is for now the biggest WB bomber; it's the best choice for a long-range high-altitude bombing raid.

Strong points:

Weak points:


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