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B_17_6op B_17_5op B_17_4op B_17_3op B_17_2op B_17_1op
The B-17 prototype first flew on July 28, 1935. Few B-17s were in service on December 7, 1941, but production quickly accelerated. The aircraft served in every WW II combat zone, but is best known for daylight strategic bombing of German industrial targets. Production ended in May 1945 and totaled 12,726.

Designed in 1934, the B-17 was one of the first four-engine bombers. Probably the most famous of the WWII bombers, it could sustain heavy damage and still bring the crews safely home. Only 46 B-17’s still exist, and of those about 13 still fly on a regular basis. They are very expensive to fly and maintain, costing about two thousand dollars per hour to fly. Two of the best-known movies about the B-17 and the men who flew them are “The Memphis Belle” and “12 O’Clock High.”

Span: 103 ft. 10 in.
Length: 74 ft. 4 in.
Height: 19 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 55,000 lbs. loaded
Armament: Thirteen .50-cal. machine guns with normal bomb load of 6,000 lbs.
Engines: Four 1,380-horsepower Wright GR1820-97 Cyclone air-cooled, nine-cylinder radial engines equipped with exhaust driven turbochargers
Crew: 10; pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, radio operator, navigator, dorsal turret gunner, two waist gunners, ball turret gunner and tail gunner
Cost: $ 276,000
Tail Number: 44-83690
Years in Service: 1937 – 1950
Maximum Speed: 300 mph
Cruising Speed: 170 mph
Range: 1850 miles
Service Ceiling: 35,000 feet