B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress

Perhaps the greatest strategic bomber in Air Force history, the B-17's development was the result of the Army Air Corp's request for an aircraft that could push the technological envelope by flying higher, faster and farther than any previous bomber - while carrying a heavier payload. The Boeing manufactured aircraft also boasted ground breaking navigation and precision bombardment equipment that made it one of the first true heavy bombers with high efficiency and accuracy.

Interesting fact:

All in all, 12,131 Flying Fortress's were manufactured.
(That's more than double the current total inventory of 5,513 aircraft in use by the U.S. Air Force's active duty, guard and reserve in FY 2008)

Specifications:

  • Max Altitude: 37,000 ft
  • Max Speed: 325 knots (374 mph)
  • Payload: 9,600 lbs
  • Range: 4,400 miles
  • Armament: Ten high-caliber machine guns (Nine .50 cal I One .30 cal)

Aircrew:

  • Three officers (pilot/co-pilot/navigator)
  • Seven enlisted (bombadier/engineer/radio operator/two waist gunners/tail gunner/lower turret gunner)