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Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

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Audrey McFeron

on 18 December 2013

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Transcript of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

History of the B-17G
Early Military Aviation
Boeing Aircraft Company
Birthing the B-17
The Flying Fortress
Legacy: Birthing B-29 and B-52
Fate of B-17
World War II
Wright Bros. first successfully flying airplane: Dec. 17th 1903
Sold Flyer to the Army 1909
Board of Ordnance and Fortification and the U.S. Signal Corps announced an advertisement for bids to construct an airplane (Wright Bros. only viable bidders due to specifications and design)
Flight trials begin late summer 1908, Wilbur in France and Orville in U.S.
Usually made of wood and thick canvas
First heavy bomber: Ilya Muromets bomber (Russian, debut August 1914)
wingspan of 97 feet was only 23 feet shorter than the length of the Wright brothers' first lumbering flight; originally to be the world's first multi-engine, multi-passenger airliner
on its maiden flight, it carried 16 passengers-- a first for a heavier-than-air machine
militarized it; in July 1914, Tsar Nicholas II christened the Ilya Muromets S-23, Type B, the world's first four-engined heavy bomber.
Billy Mitchell-- Brigadier General considered to be "Father of the Air Force," served in France WWI and commanded all American combat units; became the first and only American to have an aircraft named after him: B-25 Mitchell
Works Cited
"About World War 1: 1914-- World's First Heavy Bomber." HubPages. HubPages, 26 Jan. 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2013
"Aviation." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 5: 1940-1949. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
"Billy Mitchell." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Dec. 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.
"Eighth Air Force." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Dec. 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
"Hap Arnold Biography." WASP Museum RSS. National WASP World War II Museum, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.
"History." Boeing: Stearman Kaydet Trainer. Boeing Aircraft Company, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.
"History." Boeing: The War Years: 1939-1945. Boeing, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013
"William Edward Boeing." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 357-358. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
"The Wright Brothers | Military Use of the Airplane." The Wright Brothers | Military Use of the Airplane. Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
Started company in 1915 with friend, Conrad Westervelt, to improve upon the wooden aircraft being used
Seattle: copying designs of European planes, manufactured seaplanes
Attracted attention of U.S. Navy and, per request, built a trainer plane
America's entry into WWI caused co. to flourish
Close ties to military remain between wars
Reputation built with fighter planes in '20s and 30'
'34: Received Daniel Guggenheim Medal for ingenuity
Expanded factories in '38 and number of employees rose to 2,960; 28,840 by attack on Pearl Harbor
Produced three basic types of planes for the military: the B-17 (designed in 1934), the B-29 (designed in 1938), and the Stearman Kaydet trainer.
B-17 and B-29 became foremost symbols of America's capacity to wage industrial warfare.
Would camouflage warehouses with burlap houses and chicken wire lawns to protect factory
U.S. Army requested a large, multi-engined bomber; made B-17 (model 299) go from drawing board to flight tests in under a year
based off designs of XB-15 giant bomber and the model 247 transport
Henry "Hap" Arnold-- encountered severe shortage of male pilots due to heavy losses of combat pilots, approved a plan, submitted by Jacqueline Cochran, to train young women pilots to fly military aircraft within the U.S., developed W.A.S.P. (Women Airforce Service Pilots)
Classification: Bomber
Span: 103 feet 9 inches
Length: 74 feet 9 inches
Gross weight: 65,000 pounds
Top speed: 287 mph
Cruising speed: 150 mph
Range (max.): 3,750 miles
Ceiling: 35,600 feet
Power: Four 1,200-horsepower Wright R-1820-97 engines
Accommodation: 2 pilots, bombardier, radio-operator, 5 gunners (tail, 2 waist, ball turret, and chin)
Armament: 11 to 13 machine guns, 9,600-pound bomb load
First B-17s saw combat in 1941, when the British Royal Air Force took delivery of several B-17s for high-altitude missions
B-17E first mass-produced model Flying Fortress, carried nine machine guns and a 4,000-pound bomb load, was several tons heavier than prototypes and bristled with armaments; First Boeing aircraft with distinctive-- and enormous -- tail for improved control and stability during high-altitude bombing
Each model had more armaments and armor
Many B-17s sent to British RAF and 8th Air Force, though B-17s served in all theatres of WWII

8th Air force:
February 22, 1944-- established by the redesignation of VIII Bomber Command at High Wycombe Airdrome, England; was a U.S.A.A.F. combat air force in the European/ Atlantic theatre or WWII.
strategic bombing of enemy targets in France, the Low countries, and Germany; and engaging in air to air fighter combat against enemy aircraft until the German Capitulation in May 1945
largest of deployed combat Army Air Forces in numbers of personnel, aircraft, and equipment
February 19-20, 1944-- the RAF bombed Leipzig; 8th Air Force put up over 1,000 B-17s and B-24s and over 800 fighters and the RAF provided sixteen squadrons of Mustangs and Spitfires, attacking 12 aircraft factories
February 24, 1944-- with clear weather over central Germany, 8th Air Force sent over 800 bombers, hitting Schweinfurt and attacks on the Baltic coast, with a total of 11 B-17s being lost
Less than one week later, RAF/ 8th AF attack Berlin, dropping first American bombs on Third Reich Capitol
March 6 1944-- over 700 heavy bombers along with 800 escort fighters of the Eighth Air Force hit numerous targets within Berlin
March 8-- another raid of 600 bombers and 200 fighters hit the Berlin area again, destroying the VKF ball-bearing plant at Erkner
March 9-- H2X radar-equipped B-17s mounted a third attack on the Reich capital through clouds
Dropped over 4,800 tons of high explosive on Berlin during the first week of March, followed by more raids in late March
Boeing built 6,981 B-17s of various models: C, E, F and G; plus over 5,000 more built under nationwide collaborative effort
Following end WWII, most were scrapped
'60s: used as target drones for Boeing Bomarc missiles
Few remain today, even fewer in flying condition
Those still in good shape, but unable to fly, put in museums
Those able to fly would go to foreign countries to serve in their military or remained in the country to become flying memorabilia
Classification: Bomber
Span: 141 feet 3 inches
Length: 99 feet
Gross weight: 105,000 pounds (140,000 pounds postwar)
Top speed: 365 mph
Cruising speed: 220 mph
Range: 5,830 miles
Ceiling: 31,850 feet
Power: Four 2,200-horsepower Wright Double Cyclone engines
Accommodation: 10 crew
Armament: 12 .50-caliber machine guns, 1 20 mm cannon, 20,000-pound bomb load
many were scrapped; those not became survey planes, target planes, museum exhibits or flying history
B-17s today found in museums, private collections or organizations like CAF (rebuild and preserve War birds)
Classification: Bomber
Span: 185 feet
Length: 157 feet 7 inches (B-52H)
Gross weight: 488,000 pounds (B-52H)
Top speed: 650 mph (B-52H)
Range: More than 10,000 miles (B-52H)
Ceiling: More than 50,000 feet (B-52H)
Power: Eight 17,000-pound-thrust TF-33 turbofan engines (B-52H)
Accommodation: 5 crew
Armament: 2 Hound Dog supersonic missiles and bombs, 20 mm cannon in radar-directed tail turret, 20 SRAMs or 20 ALCMs (B-52H)
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