Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Written by Tom Jenkins On December - 28 - 2011 under Airplanes Comments Off on Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is regarded the most important heavy bomber the American Allies had during the Second World War. It dropped over six hundred and forty thousand tons of bombs, being responsible for over two hundred and ninety thousand sorties.

As per the requirement of the United States, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber with four engines, ready for long-haul traveling with a maximum of two thousand lb quantity of explosives, reaching speeds of two hundred and two hundred and fifty miles per hour came along after a series of upgrades, the first in its family being Boeing Model 229, its maiden voyage being in nineteen thirty-four. Although they had lost their prototype due to the error of a pilot, the United States pursued their goal. The initial complete model of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress came in five hundred and twelve units as the B-17E. These had the first .50 caliber weaponry.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress units flew in what had become to be known as “box formations”. The bombardier and navigator had the best views over the large Plexiglas nose and the sky. The pilot and the co-pilot were above and behind the navigator’s position. They both had equal control access and view of all four engines. The radio operator was awarded a table and seating in addition to his radio equipment. Despite the fact that he was not introduced until the production of E models, the tail gunner probed to be one of the deterrents of the greatest import to enemy aircraft’s when enemy formations attempted to attack from the rear. Provided with a limited twin machine gun with an arc-of-fire, that had Cheyenne turret in G models, the tail gunner shot the enemies down while kneeling.

Overall, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was quite the utilitarian aircraft to be in. It was a rather noisy place to be, but that did not stop the people to keep on coming and to make a home out of what was going to be their livelihood while the war lasted. The Boeing served a purposed, but it was its crew that made most of what the aircraft could actually do. They fulfilled the plane’s true potential. As quick as its introduction was, such was its duration after the war. Some units are still available for view in museums while others are flown today by dedicated pilots.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Pictures Gallery

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