USA B17 (Note picture of FDR on the nose)
Note also the metalled runway
B17F being assembled in the USA
Source : pictures unknown
Boeing Flying Fortress specifications and other notes
In response for the Army's request for a large, multi engine bomber, the B-17 (Model 299) prototype, financed entirely by Boeing, went from design board to flight test in less than 12 months. The B-17 was a low-wing monoplane that combined aerodynamic features of the XB-15 giant bomber, still in the design stage, and the Model 247 transport. The B-17 was the first Boeing military aircraft with a flight deck instead of an open cockpit and was armed with bombs and five .30-caliber machine guns mounted in clear "blisters." The first B-17s saw combat in 1941, when the British Royal Air Force took delivery of several B-17s for high-altitude missions.
As World War II intensified, the bombers needed additional armament and armor. The B-17E, the first mass-produced model Flying Fortress, carried nine machine guns and a 4,000-pound bomb load. It was several tons heavier than the prototypes and bristled with armament. It was the first Boeing airplane with the distinctive - and enormous - tail for improved control and stability during high-altitude bombing. Each version was more heavily armed. In the Pacific, the planes earned a deadly reputation with the Japanese, who dubbed them "four-engine fighters." The Fortresses were also legendary for their ability to stay in the air after taking brutal poundings. They sometimes limped back to their bases with large chunks of the fuselage shot off.
Boeing plants built a total of 6,981 B-17s in various models, and another 5,745 were built under a nationwide collaborative effort by Douglas and Lockheed (Vega). Only a few B-17s survive today; most were scrapped at the end of the war. Some of the last Flying Fortresses met their end as target drones in the 1960s - destroyed by Boeing Bomarc missiles.
First flight: 28 July 1935
Model number: 299
Span: 103 feet 9 inches (B-17G)
Length: 74 feet 9 inches (B-17G)
Gross weight: 65,000 pounds (B-17G)
Top speed: 287 mph (B-17G)
Cruising speed: 150 mph (B-17G)
Range (max.): 3,750 miles (B-17G)
Ceiling: 35,600 feet (B-17G)
Power: Four 1,200-horsepower Wright R-1820-97 engines (B-17G)
Accommodation: 2 pilots, bombardier, radio-operator, 5 gunners (B-17G)
Armament: 11 to 13 machine guns, 9,600-pound bomb load (B-17G)
The Boeing Flying Fortress helped turn the tide of WWII, bristling with gun turrets and powered by four Wright Cyclone piston engines. About 200 Fortress II, IIA and III variants were delivered to the RAF from mid 1942 onwards.