Flying Fortress history
order to replace the aging Keystone American bomber, the engineers
developped a new heavy bomber. The first prototype took off in July 1935. The production began a few years later, but the lack
of credit were so important that only 30 aircrafts were operational
in 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War in Europe.
Some units have been delivered to the Royal Air Force and it was
in Europe that the B-17 made its first missions. His tremendous
action range allowed it to bomb far away targets, but fighters
could not escort it; poorly armed, it was an easy target for the
To solve this problem and other navigation difficulties, different
versions of the B-17 were manufactured. The final model, B-17
G, was designed in September 1943: it was armed with 13 machine
guns at the rear, at the front, on the sides, above and below.
Thus, the bomber got its nickname of "Flying Fortress".
Used on the Pacific, Europe and North-African fronts, the B-17
was involved in all major air raids of the Second World War. Many
aircrafts were involved in the Battle of Normandy during the summer
1944. Different versions have been manufactured, including maritime
patrol and anti-submarines models.
At the end of the war, nearly 12,700 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
were manufactured. It is undoubtedly one of the most famous bombers
of the Second World War.