Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
B-17 Flying Fortress by bagera3005 B-17 Flying Fortress by bagera3005
B-17 Flying Fortress
World War II

The B-17 Flying Fortress is one of the most famous airplanes ever built. The Army Air Forces first ordered the aircraft as a static test bed, but it was converted to a flight capable aircraft for testing supercharged engines. The converted aircraft was designated Y1B-17A and was one of a kind. The B-17 prototype flew on July 28, 1935, as Boeing Model 299. A variety of engine installations and configurations eventually led to the bottom-mounted turbo-supercharger which became standard on the B-17B -- the first production model of the B-17 series of bombers.

A flight of B-17s enroute to Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 was assumed to be the large formation of aircraft tracked on radar early that Sunday morning. This formation turned out to be the carrier-based attack and fighter aircraft of Japan. The B-17s arrived later in the day and became the first B-17s to see combat in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.

Few B-17s were in service on that infamous day, but production quickly accelerated. B-17s served in every World War II combat zone. The aircraft is best known for daylight strategic bombing of German industrial targets. 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.

The B-17G was the result of an almost continuous improvement program of earlier B-17 models. The -G model was basically the production version of the B-17F after the modifications and improvements were incorporated into the design. Although the Bendix chin turret is the most obvious improvement incorporated into the B-17G, it was actually first used on late model B-17Fs.

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.

There are many B-17 Flying Fortresses with famous histories, such as the "Hell's Angels" and the "Memphis Belle." These are just two of the B-17s that were pulled from front line service and flown back to the United States to conduct war bond tours. "Hell's Angels," a B-17F of the 358th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group was one of the first aircraft to participate in a war bond tour. The aircraft completed 48 missions without ever turning back from its assigned target. The members of squadron got the idea to sign the "Hell's Angels" before it left for the states. The idea caught on and other squadrons signed their aircraft before sending them back to the U.S.

The "Memphis Belle" has the distinction of being one of the first B-17s to complete 25 combat missions. It was also the first B-17 with 25 combat missions sent back to tour the U.S. to help sell war bonds. The aircraft was assigned to the 91st Bomb Group, 324th Bomb Squadron and based at Bassingbourn, England. The aircraft is one of the few B-17s remaining and is on display in Memphis, Tenn. A movie "Memphis Belle" is based on the crew's missions.

Production ended in May 1945 and totaled 12,726. 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.

General Characteristics (B-17G)
Crew: 10
* Primary function: bomber
* Length: 74 feet 9 inches
* Height: 19 feet 1 inch
* Weight: 65,500 pounds gross weight (actual - normal load)
* Armament: Twelve .50-cal. machine guns and 8,000 pounds of bombs
* Engines: Four Wright R-1820-97 turbo-supercharged radials of 1200 horsepower each
* Maximum speed: 302 mph at 25,000 feet
* Cruising speed: 160 mph
* Service ceiling: 35,600 feet
* Range: 3,400 miles (maximum ferry range)

Sources compiled from U.S. Air Force Museum


* Guns: 13× M2 Browning .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns in twin turrets, plus single dorsal, fore and aft beam positions (with optional extra nose armament fitted in glazed nose).
* Bombs: Although it theoretically could carry 17,417 lb (7900 kg) of bombs, the B-17 rarely flew combat missions with more than 5,071 lb (2300 kg).[citation needed]
o Short range missions (<400 mi): 8,000 lb (3,600 kg)
o Long range missions (≈800 mi): 4,500 lb (2,000 kg)

this is b-17 my grandfathers Crewed
Add a Comment:
JakeLeeGT Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2015
If I recall,a Komet me 163 b managed to shoot down some of these planes.
Turbofurby Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Did you make this using a program or something?
bagera3005 Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
auto cad an ms paint
Turbofurby Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Auto cad?
Anzac-A1 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012
Little quick & interesting B-17 story. It's about a B-17E in the Pacific called "Old 666", I forget the exact year. Anyway, the crew took off another squadron, as no one wanted to fly it anymore (the plane got shot to hell every time it flew a mission), and planned on volunteeing for the missions no one else would fly. So they rigged the plane with an extra 6 .50 cal machine guns, for a total of 19 guns. On a mapping missions, they were attacked by a total of 17 Mitsubishi Zero fighters. Amazingly, they crew managed to hold the Zeros of for a staggering 45 minutes, before the Japanese were forced to retreat. The pilot and bombadier received the Medal of Honour (the bombadier posthumously), while the other members of the crew received the Distinguished Service Cross, making it the most highly decorated mission by an American crew in WWII.
Aellostriker2 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for sharing this. by the way is this the model that was used by the WASP in 'pistol packing mama'?
SlyCooPerfan15 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Pretty plane did you draw that
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
yes there full one in my galley
SlyCooPerfan15 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Razgriz3 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2009
The Original Mephis Belle is now in the possesion of the USAF mueseum, they want to restore her to flightworthiness, sowho knows some day we may yet see her in the air, there is the movie Bell out there too, saw it at Andrews AFB this last Armed Forces Day
bubba145 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008
my grand dad did two he flew them.
Add a Comment:
  • Art Print
  • Canvas
  • Photo
  • Art Gifts
Download PNG 1301 × 1920


Submitted on
June 13, 2008
Image Size
138 KB


8,020 (4 today)
56 (who?)


Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.