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The Boeing B-17G or "Flying Fortress" is possibly the best known American aircraft of the second world war. It was designed by the Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington.

The Seattle Daily Times carried a feature with a photograph bearing the caption "15 Ton Flying Fortress", this caught the imagination of Boeing's management and they duly registered the name.

The aircraft flew over 300 operations, which is over 8700 sorties, from Framlingham Station 153 which we now know as Parham Airfield Museum.

 

The Boeing B-17G "Flying Fortress"

DESIGNED By
Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington

BUILT UNDER LICENSE BY
Vega Aircraft Company (now Lockheed) and Douglas Aircraft Corporation.

MODEL
B-17G Flying Fortress

REQUIRED CREW: 8 - 10
Pilot, Co-pilot, Navigator, Bombardier, Flight Engineer (top turret gunner), Radio Operator, 2 Waist Gunners, Tail Gunner and Ball Turret Gunner


The Ball Turret Gunner from the B-17 "Hot Rocks"

POWER
The B-17G is powered by four 1,200-horsepower Wright Cyclone Model R-1820-97 engines. These engines are nine cylinder, radial, air-cooled type with a 16:9 gear ratio. The propellers are three-bladed Hamilton Standard propellers, 11 feet, 7 inches in diameter.

WEIGHTS
Basic Empty Weight 34,000 lbs.
Gross Weight (Wartime) 65,500 lbs.

Fuel & Range - B-17G
Operational use - 2810 US gallons giving a range of about 2000 miles.

Ferrying - 3630 US gallons giving a range of about 3,400 miles (two tanks, each carrying 410 US gallons, added to bomb bay.

Typical B-17G consumption on a mission to targets in the Leipzig area of Eastern Germany - 2200 US gallons, flying time 7 hours 55 minutes.

WING SPAN
103 feet, 9 inches

LENGTH
74 feet, 4 inches

HEIGHT
19 feet, 1 inch

SERVICE CEILING
35,600 feet

ARMAMENT
Thirteen Browning M-2 .50 caliber machine guns. Fire rate approximately 13 rounds per second. No gun on a B-17 carried more than one minute's supply of ammunition.

BOMB LOAD
Depending on types of bombs, maximum normal load could go to 8,000 lbs. If B-17 was fitted with special external racks, maximum normal short-range bomb load could go as high as 17,600 lbs.

Maximum 300 mph. at 30,000 ft.
Maximum continuous 263 mph. at 25,000 ft.
Cruising speed 170 mph.
Landing 74 mph.
Rate of Climb 37 minutes to 20,000 ft.

NUMBER BUILT

  Boeing
Seattle, WA
Vega
Burbank, CA
Douglas
Long Beach CA
BVD Total
Early models
646
0
0
646
F models
2300
500
605
3405
G models
4035
2250
2395
8680
Total
6981
2750
3000
12731

 

Production peaked at 16 airplanes a day in April 1944.

Today there are about a dozen B-17's still flying.

 


"Square J's at Framlingham"
© Merv Corning

"Leading The Big Show"
© Frank R Drain

 

©2013 Parham Airfield Museum