Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, one of the most famous American planes of World War 2. Over 12,000 of the four-engined bomber were used in the European war.
Although more B-24's were used in the war, the B-17 is more romanced as the ideal bomber. The Memphis Belle was the first B-17 to survive 50 combat missions. Although well-remembered as a plane that could survive huge hits from German flak and Luftwaffe fighters, over half of the deployed B-17's were lost in combat or due to operational damage.
The B-17 put Boeing on the map, helping them to gain later superiority in the commercial aerospace industry. The B-17's bigger, younger brother was the B-29, deployed later in the war in the Japanese theater and later in the Korean War. The B-29 Superfortress was used to drop the first two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, arguably winning the war.
- Country: United States of America
- Manufacturer: Boeing
- Designation: B-17 Flying Fortress
- Type: Bomber
- Service Dates: 1935 to mid-1950s
- Length: 74'-9"
- Wingspan: 103'-9"
- Height: 19'-1"
- Empty Weight: 32,720 lbs
- Gross Weight: 49,500 lbs
- Maximum Speed: 295 mph
- Maximum Range: 1,100 miles
- Maximum Altitude: 35,000 ft
- Number of Crew: 10 to 12
- Engine Type: Reciprocating
- Engine Manufacturer: Wright
- Engine Designation: R1820 x 4
- Engine Horsepower: 1,200 hp