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First published in , the Grumman Goose book tells the story of the small twin First published in , the Grumman Goose book tells the story of the small twin engined utility seaplane first designed in for wealthy business men to replace their Loening Air Yachts. The reliable sturdy design soon found its way Lockheed C Starlifter- Warbirdtech Vol.

During World War II, the need During World War II, the need for military transports prompted the modification of bombers with varying degrees of success, yet ships remained the means for moving armies overseas.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress - World War II Aircraft Tour

In Britain, the plane performed unremarkably. Nearly half of the sorties were aborted due to mechanical problems. Eight of the twenty were destroyed by September, half to accidents. Their guns tended to freeze at high altitude and were generally unable to effectively protect the Fortresses. Their success as a bomber was also limited, largely because they were unable to hit anything from the altitudes at which they flew. The first "C" series flew in July ; 38 were built. The eighteen remaining after twenty were transferred to the RAF were modified to the configuration used in the BD.

In fact, both were given the same subdesignation H by Boeing. Several minor changes were made, both internally and externally. Outside, the engines received a set of cowling flaps for better cooling, and the external bomb racks were removed. On the inside, the electrical system was revised, and another crew member added. In the aft-dorsal radio compartment room just behind the bomb bay with a flexible machine gun mount, and the ventral "bathtub" armament emplacement — as well as adding the nose-mount, "cheek" guns for the first time, in a longitudinally staggered mount layout the starboard "cheek" gun further forward in relation to the portside ordnance the guns were doubled, bringing the total armament to one 0.

The BD also featured more extensive armor protection.

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The sole surviving example of this model of the Flying Fortress — originally built in and nicknamed the Ole Betsy by her original crew — is undergoing restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton , Ohio. She was later renamed " The Swoose " by her pilot Frank Kurtz; he later named his daughter, actress Swoosie Kurtz , after the bomber. The most obvious change was a redesigned vertical stabilizer, originally developed for the Boeing by George S. The new fin had a distinctive shape for the time, with the other end of the fuselage retaining the well-framed, ten panel bombardier's nose glazing from the B-series design.

Until this modification, crews had had to devise elaborate maneuvers to deal with a direct attack from behind, including jerking the aircraft laterally, allowing the waist gunners to alternate shots at enemy fighters. The configuration with 3-window box would also appear on the B , and also adopted by Soviet bombers as late as the Tupolev Tu Badger, and in different form on the B The teardrop-shaped sliding panels of the waist gunners were replaced by larger rectangular windows, directly across the fuselage from each other, for better visibility.

In the initial fifth of the production run, the ventral bathtub gun emplacement of the C and D versions was replaced by a remote-sighted Bendix turret, very similar to the unit placed on the BB Mitchell medium bomber of the same period, which proved to be a disappointment in usability, resulting in the remaining E-series aircraft being fitted with a Sperry ball turret , to be used for all succeeding B versions.

A total of were built — possibly from the July dated order from the then-USAAC for Bs being for that specific number of airframes [7] — making the BE the first mass-produced version of the B One of these was later converted to the XB Flying Fortress. Since production this size was too large for Boeing alone to handle, it was assisted by the Vega division of Lockheed and Douglas. Boeing also built a new plant, and Douglas added one specifically for production of the B Rather, they were transferred to the Coastal Command for anti-submarine patrol. Four known examples of BEs still exist in museums in the 21st century, none of which is currently known to be airworthy.

The BF was an upgrade of the BE, although outwardly the types were distinguished only by exchanging the bombardier's ten panel, well-framed nose glazing that had originated with the BB, for a molded one-piece or two-piece plexiglas cone, the two-piece version having a nearly-transparent diagonal seam.

Late production "F" series aircraft received substantially enlarged mounts for the "cheek"-mounted guns on each side of the nose, offset in their horizontal placing, still with the starboard "cheek" emplacement further forward, and fully feathering paddle-bladed propellers. Numerous internal changes were made to improve the effectiveness, range, and load capacity of the B However, once placed in combat service, the "F" series was found to be tail heavy. The weight of gunners and ammunition when combat-loaded moved the center of gravity rearward from its design point and forced the constant use of the elevator trim tab , stressing this component.

In combat the BF proved almost immediately to have inadequate defensive protection when attacked from the front. Various armament configurations of two to four flexible guns were utilized in the field, as sometimes cannibalized from damaged Bs' tail gun positions as one example , but the problem was not adequately addressed until the introduction of a powered, Bendix-designed remotely operated "chin" turret in the final production blocks of the F-series Fortresses — starting with the last 86 BFs built by Douglas of the BF-DL bombers built, from the BFDL production block [8] — directly derived from its debut on the YB experimental "gunship" version.


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A number of other modifications were made, including re-integrating external bomb racks, but because of its negative impact on both rate-of-climb and high-altitude flight the configuration was rarely used and the racks were removed. Range and combat radius were extended with the installation in mid-production of additional fuel cells in the wings. Called " Tokyo tanks ", nine self-sealing rubber-composition tanks were mounted inside each wing on each side of the joint between the inner and outer wing sections.

These included the famous Memphis Belle. Three examples of the BF remain in existence in the 21st century, including the now-restored Memphis Belle. Generally considered the definitive B design, all changes made in the BF production run were incorporated into the final version. These included a Bendix remotely operated chin turret, an innovation derived from the unsuccessful YB escort version, bringing defensive armament to For late production blocks of the G-series, a revised tail gun position referred to as the "Cheyenne" configuration after the modification center where it was introduced [10] was devised, in which the guns were mounted in a new turret with reflector sight and much greater field of fire.

Three went to Coastal Command in the Azores fitted with radar before reuse with Meteorological squadrons. The rest were operated by two squadrons of Bomber Command 's No. They were also used as decoys during night bombing attacks. They took part in various such operations until the units were disbanded in July Its primary purpose was testing the feasibility of liquid-cooled Allison V engines. It was meant as an improved version of the B, and a variant that could be used if the Wright R engine became scarce.

Completing the modifications took less than a year, and the XB made its first flight on 19 May While it showed a slightly higher top speed, after a few flights it had to be grounded due to a problem with engine manifold joints leaking exhaust. Following the fixing of this problem, testing continued until the ninth flight on 16 June During this flight, the third right inboard engine caught fire, and the crew was forced to bail out.

Boeing BEs under construction. This is the first released wartime production photograph of Flying Fortress heavy bombers at one of the Boeing plants, at Seattle, Wash. A total of were built, making the BE the first mass-produced version of the B One of these was later converted to the XB Flying Fortress. Since production this size was too large for Boeing alone to handle, it was assisted by the Vega division of Lockheed and Douglas.

Boeing also built a new plant, and Douglas added one specifically for production of the B Rather, they were transferred to the Coastal Command for anti- submarine patrol. Four known examples of BEs still exist in museums in the 21st century, none of which is currently known to be airworthy. The BF was an upgrade of the BE, although outwardly the types were distinguished only by exchanging the framed nose-glass that had originated with the BB, for a molded one-piece plexiglas cone.

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Late production "F" series aircraft received a "cheek"-mounted gun on each side of the nose, offset in their horizontal placing with the starboard "cheek" emplacement further forward, and fully feathering paddle-bladed propellers. Numerous internal changes were made to improve the effectiveness, range, and load capacity of the B However, once placed in combat service, the "F" series was found to be tail heavy. The weight of gunners and ammunition when combat-loaded moved the center of gravity rearward from its design point and forced the constant use of elevator trim tab , stressing this component.

In combat the BF proved almost immediately to have inadequate defensive protection when attacked from the front. Various armament configurations of two to four flexible guns were utilized in the field, as sometimes cannibalized from damaged Bs' tail gun positions as one example , but the problem was not adequately addressed until the introduction of a powered, remotely operated "chin" turret in the final production blocks of the F-series Fortresses, directly derived from its debut on the YB experimental "gunship" version.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress - WarbirdTech Volume 7

A number of other modifications were made, including re-integrating external bomb racks, but because of its negative impact on both rate-of-climb and high altitude flight the configuration was rarely used and the racks were removed. Range and combat radius were extended with the installation in mid-production of additional fuel cells in the wings.

Called " Tokyo tanks ", nine self-sealing rubber-composition tanks were mounted inside each wing on each side of the joint between the inner and outer wing sections. These included the famous Memphis Belle. Three examples of the BF remain in existence in the 21st century, including the under-restoration Memphis Belle. The nose section was removed and replaced with a strengthened mount for a fifth engine. Generally considered the definitive B design, all changes made in the BF production run were incorporated into the final version.

These included a Bendix remotely operated chin turret, an innovation derived from the unsuccessful YB escort version, bringing defensive armament to Some 8, were built, and dozens were converted for several different uses:. Three went to Coastal Command in the Azores fitted with radar before reuse with Meteorological squadrons.

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The rest were operated by two squadrons of Bomber Command 's No. They were also used as decoys during night bombing attacks. They took part in various such operations until the units were disbanded in July Its primary purpose was testing the feasibility of liquid-cooled Allison V engines. It was meant as an improved version of the B, and a variant that could be used if the Wright R engine became scarce.

Completing the modifications took less than a year, and the XB made its first flight on 19 May While it showed a slightly higher top speed, after a few flights it had to be grounded due to a problem with engine manifold joints leaking exhaust. Following the fixing of this problem, testing continued until the ninth flight on 16 June During this flight, the third right inboard engine caught fire, and the crew was forced to bail out.

The XB was destroyed and the project cancelled. The gains in modification were minimal and would have been disruptive to production of existing models. Allison engines were also considered to be more badly needed for constructing fighter aircraft. Prior to the introduction of the P Mustang , a B escort variant called the YB was introduced.

This aircraft differed from the standard B in that a second dorsal turret was installed atop the radio operator's position between the forward dorsal turret and the waist guns, where only a single flexibly mounted Browning M2 gun had been; and the single 0. The YB would provide a heavily armed "gunship" escort capable of accompanying the bombers all the way to the target and back. The aircraft was deemed a failure because it could not keep up with standard BFs once they had dropped bombs. It was withdrawn from service after fourteen missions. Four Bs were converted to serve as cargo carriers and V.

Many more served in the same roles under the designations CB and VB, respectively. The first of them, designated XC , was a BE partially stripped of military equipment and outfitted with various living accommodations. It served as a V. A similar conversion was made on a BF, which was redesignated YC The third plane, designated XCA , was made to test the feasibility of converting obsolete bombers to cargo aircraft.

BE was chosen for the conversion.


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