Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 in flight.
B-17 in flight.
B-17 dropping bombs.
B-17 dropping bombs.
B-17 flying over islands.
B-17 flying over islands.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

The B-17 was a heavy bomber in World War II. The B-17 was built by Boeing and introduced in 1938. They flew extensively for the United States and for England's RAF.

The B-17 began operations with the RAF in 1941. The B-17 was used to drop bombs on German industrial targets. Later, in 1943, the B-17 was used, along with the B-24 Liberators, accompanied by P-51 and P-47 escort fighters, to target enemy aircraft plants in preparation of D-day. It was also hoped that these offensive campaigns would lure German fighters into battle in order to deplete them. The B-17 also saw action in the Pacific theater.

In the beginning, B-17 bombers and other bombers were amassed in giant formations while bombing enemy targets, hoping that all the machine guns, of all the bombers combined, could defend themselves against enemy fighters. However, this strategy didn't work as planned against high speed enemy fighters and was abandoned. Afterward, they adopted the use of escort fighters, like the P-47 Thunderbolts, P-51 Mustangs and P-38 Lightnings to accompany the bombers on their missions.

The B-17 was powered by four, Wright R-1820 turbosupercharged radial engines.The B-17 Flying Fortress had a top speed of 287 mph and a service ceiling of 35,600 feet.The B-17 Flying Fortress had a range of approximately 2,000 miles. Depending on the distance of the targets, a B-17 Flying Fortress could carry, from 4, 000 to 8,000 lbs of bombs. The B-17 Flying Fortress had an armament of thirteen .50 caliber M2 browning machine guns. placed in turret positions throughout the aircraft.

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Comments 3 comments

wildbluefrontier profile image

wildbluefrontier 24 months ago from Tucson

That is one beautiful aircraft, although I'm not sure I wouldn't get a little dizzy if I was manning the ball turret at the bottom of the plane.


Jvk084 14 months ago

A B-17 G "Red Dragon" was shot down over Sault Liut, Belgium on August 9, 1944. All nine crew members survived and returned to US. It was their 13th mission.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 4 months ago from USA Author

Thanks for the comments.

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