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SPECIAL OFFER FOR A LIMITED TIME
Save $200 and receive special limited edition B-17 Gifts during this introductory offer valid from Sept 16 to Dec 31 2022 or until the first 50 Models are sold whichever comes first. Each purchase will include $100 off regular price plus $100 Cash in hand when you bring your B-17 to Bomber Field’s 35th Annual B-17 Gathering/Big Bird Fly-In Sept 14-16, 2023.
B-17 Flying Fortress History
In 1934, the Boeing Aircraft Company of Seattle, Washington, began construction of a four-engine heavy bomber. Known as Boeing model 299, it first took flight on July 28, 1935. The government ordered production of 13 of these aircraft, now designated the Y1B-17. Delivery of these first production models was between January 11 and August 4, 1937.
The B-17 received the name Flying Fortress from a Seattle reporter who commented on its defensive firepower. The B-17 underwent a number of improvements over its 10-year production span. Models ranged from the YB-17 to the B-17-G model.
Throughout the war, the B-17 was refined and improved as battle experience showed the Boeing designers where improvements could be made. The final B-17 production model, the B-17G, was produced in larger quantities (8,680) than any previous model and is considered the definitive Flying Fortress. With its 13 .50-caliber machine guns – chin, top, ball and tail turrets; waist and cheek guns – the B-17G was indeed an airplane that earned the respect of its combatants. In addition, air crews liked the B-17 for its ability to withstand heavy combat damage and still return its crew safely home.
Between 1935 and May 1945, 12,732 B-17s were produced. Of these aircraft, 4,735 were lost during combat missions.
At one time, more than 1,000 B-17s could be assembled for mass combat missions. Today, fewer than 100 B-17 airframes exist and fewer still are in airworthy condition. Today, approximately 46 B-17 aircraft are known to survive in complete form, approx 10 of which are airworthy, and approx 39 of which reside in the United States.