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Boeing
B-17G Flying Fortress

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Boeing: B-17G Flying Fortress

Role Heavy bomber
National origin United States
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 22 July 1935
Introduction April 1938
Retired 1968 (Brazilian Air Force)
Status Retired
Primary users United States Army Air Forces
Royal Air Force
Produced 1936–1945
Number built 12,731
Developed into Boeing 307 Stratoliner

Boeing Millitary

Boeing
B-17 Flying Fortress (1935)

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Boeing
B-17 Flying Fortress (1935)

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engined heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry (prototype Model 299/XB-17) outperformed both competitors and exceeded the air corps’ performance specifications. Although Boeing lost the contract (to the Douglas B-18 Bolo) because the prototype crashed, the air corps ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances,[4][5] becoming the third-most produced bomber of all time, behind the four-engined Consolidated B-24 Liberator and the multirole, twin-engined Junkers Ju 88.

Operational History

The B-17 began operations in World War II with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1941, and in the Southwest Pacific with the U.S. Army. The 19th Bombardment Group had deployed to Clark Field in the Philippines a few weeks before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as the first of a planned heavy bomber buildup in the Pacific. Half of the group’s B-17s were wiped out on 8 December 1941 when they were caught on the ground during refueling and rearming for a planned attack on Japanese airfields on Formosa. The small force of B-17s operated against the Japanese invasion force until they were withdrawn to Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory. In early 1942, the 7th Bombardment Group began arriving in Java with a mixed force of B-17s and LB-30/B-24s.[70] A squadron of B-17s from this force detached to the Middle East to join the First Provisional Bombardment Group, thus becoming the first American B-17 squadron to go to war against the Germans.

Operators

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner (2007)

The first 10 aircraft were designated “B-47A”, and were strictly evaluation aircraft, the first delivered in December 1950. While the XB-47s had been built by at Boeing’s Seattle plant, all B-47s were built at a government-owned factory in Wichita, Kansas that had previously built B-29s. Their configuration was close to the XB-47. They were fitted with J47-GE-11 turbojets, offering the same 5,200 lbf (23 kN) thrust as the earlier J47-GE-3, and also featured the built-in rocket-assisted-take-off (RATO) bottles

Specifications

  • Crew: 10: Pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier/nose gunner, flight engineer/top turret gunner, radio operator, waist gunners (2), ball turret gunner, tail gunner
  • Length: 74 ft 4 in (22.66 m)
  • Wingspan: 103 ft 9 in (31.62 m)
  • Height: 19 ft 1 in (5.82 m)
  • Empty weight: 36,135 lb (16,391 kg)
  • Gross weight: 54,000 lb (24,500 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 65,500 lb (29,700 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Wright R-1820-97 “Cyclone” turbosupercharged radial engines, 1,200 hp (895 kW) each

Maximum speed: 287 mph (462 km/h, 249 kn)

Cruise speed: 182 mph (293 km/h, 158 kn)

Range: 2,000 mi (3,219 km, 1,738 nmi) with 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) bombload

Ferry range: 3,750 mi (6,040 km, 3,260 nmi)

Service ceiling: 35,600 ft (10,850 m)

Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)

Wing loading: 38.0 lb/sq ft (185.7 kg/m2)

Power/mass: 0.089 hp/lb (150 W/kg)

 

  • Guns: 13 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns in 9 positions (2 in the Bendix chin turret, 2 on nose cheeks, 2 staggered waist guns, 2 in upper Sperry turret, 2 in Sperry ball turret in belly, 2 in the tail and one firing upwards from radio compartment behind bomb bay)
  • Bombs:Short range missions (<400 mi): 8,000 lb (3,600 kg)

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The B-17, a versatile aircraft, served in dozens of USAAF units in theaters of combat throughout World War II, and in other roles for the RAF. Its main use was in Europe, where its shorter range and smaller bombload relative to other aircraft did not hamper it as much as in the Pacific Theater. Peak USAAF inventory (in August 1944) was 4,574 worldwide

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