Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was rugged four engine bomber that earned the affection of their crews for bringing them home.
The B-17 was synonymous with the early Pacific War, with the famous flight of B-17s that arrived
on December 7, 1941 during
Japanese attack. Also, for their role in the Philippines campaign with the destruction
of many B-17s on the ground at Clark Field on December 8, 1941. The 19th Bomb Group flew Flying
Fortresses huge distances at great odds from bases in the Philippines, Java
and Australia during the early days of the war. By the middle of 1943, Pacific B-17s were were replaced
by the B-24 Liberator which was faster,
had a longer range and could carry a larger bomb load. A few B-17s remained in use as personal transports and armed transports. A few "G" models
served in non-combat duties including late in the war or were converted into B-17H air-sea rescue versions.
The B-17B model.
The B-17C model.
The B-17D model. A total of forty-two were built during 1940 until early 1941.
During the autumn of 1940, the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) ordered 512 B-17E Flying Fortresses under contract W-535 ac-15677. Built by Boeing at Seattle between September 5, 1941 until May 26, 1942.
The B-17F model had a Sperry ball turret.
The B-17G model had a chin turret in the nose and staggered waist gunner positions.
The B-17H model were converted for the air-sea rescue role with a Higgins A-1 lifeboat attached to the lower fuselage. A total of 130 B-17G were converted into the B-17H variant.
XC-108 / C-108
Transport varriant of the B-17 Flying Fortress. Four B-17s were converted into transports with all armament removed except nose and tail guns. The fuselage interior was modified with windows, cooking facilities and living space with a drop-down door with steps installed in the rear fuselage instead of the standard door. The first conversion was B-17E 41-2593 (XC-108) for U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur.
Crew 10 (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, radio, engineer, ball gunner, left waist gunner, right waist gunner, tail gunner)
Engine 4 x Wright R-1820 cyclone radial engine driving a three bladed propeller
Span 103' 10"
Length 74' 4"
Height 19' 1"
Cruise Speed 170 mph
Range 1,850 miles
Armament 10 - 12 x .50 caliber machine guns
Bomb Load 6,400 lbs