B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies B-17G

Improvements

The B-17G was the latst production model of the “Flying Fortress” and was manufactured in the greates numbers.

B-17G mit Kinnturm // Wikipedia Commons [Public Domain]

B-17G mit Kinnturm // Wikipedia Commons [Public Domain]

In effect, the B-17G was the B-17F with the powered Bedinx chin turret fitted under the nose section. Design modifications included the Minneapolis-Honeywell electric turbo-supercharger regulators allowing manifold pressure, or boost, to be controlled by one control knob for all four engines. the pilot no longer had to worry about over-revving turbines or having to constantly tweak power controls to stop oil in regulator lines becoming sluggish. Another major difference was that the waist gunners were given anenclosure that protected them from the icy temperatures of high altitude with the position of the guns staggered to give them more room to manoeuvre. The tail gun position was also improved allowing a wider field of fire, a reflector sight, and hand held guns.

Werbung/Advertisement
Chenyenne-Turret // http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/4381 // CC-BY-NC 3.0

Chenyenne-Turret // http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/4381 // CC-BY-NC 3.0

However, the new model B-17 also experienced its own operating difficulties. When fired at maximum elevation, the chin turret guns had a tendency to crack the plexiglass nose; a problem was solved by fitting blast barrels to each gun. The oil cooler regulator often failed to operate and could result in complete engine seizure. The ability to feather the propeller blades, in event of engine failture, was lost in the B-17G because the standpipe that held back sufficient oil to work the feathering tank was sacrificed in the quest for a lighter aircraft. This was a major design error and meant that, by the winter of 1943, the lack of feathering was a major reason for bomber loss. Urgent request were made by Groups for special modifications kits but it was only in September 1944 that B-17G’s arrived with these modifications built-in.

Fatal Error

Another serious problem on the B-17G was the lack of an engine fire extinguisher system. Designers had believed that it was ineffective so had left it out of the new model. In reality, the system had worked well and it was requested by Bomber Groups that it be re-introduced as soon as possible.

B-17G im Flug // http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/2433 // CC-BY-NC 3.0

B-17G im Flug // http://www.americanairmuseum.com/media/2433 // CC-BY-NC 3.0

The B-17G was still tail heavy with the same centre of gravity problems as earlier models. However, by May 1944, when long-range fighter esort was effective defensive protection, gunners were not as busy as before and it was decided that one waist gunner be dispensed with. The radio romm gun, the least used in action, was got also rid of and the quanity of ammunition carried reduced. All these measures brought the centre of gravity nearer th a more acceptable position. In the las month of the war, when there was little enemy fighter activity, some Combat Wings flew without waist guns, ball turrets or chin turrets. Operational reports revealed an estimated 25mph increase in airspeed with the improved streamlining. In this period of the war flak batteries were a greater hazard than fighters and unneccesary gunner armor plate was removed to be replaced with laminated steel and canvas plates called “flak curtains”.

In total, the 8th Air Force received 6,500 B-17G’s. In March 1945, it could send 2,370 of them into combat operations. At the end of the war a total 1,301 B-17G’s had been shot down or reported missing in action.

Werbung/Advertisement

Random B-17G from database

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 43-38027 / Batchelor’s Delight aka Sub Depot Sue

43-38027 / Batchelor’s Delight aka Sub Depot Sue

Delivered Cheyenne 17/6/44; Kearney 27/6/44; Grenier 15/7/44; Assigned 832BS/486BG [3R-R] Sudbury 16/7/44; {62m} Returned to the USA Bradley 9/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 11/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 25/11/45. BATCHELOR’S DELIGHT aka SUB DEPOT SUE.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 43-39400

43-39400

Delivered Hunter 3/3/45; Grenier 17/3/45; Assigned 8AF 20/3/45; Returned to the USA 1103 BU Morrison 13/12/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 3/1/46.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-97860

42-97860

Delivered Tulsa 17/3/44; Kearney 15/5/44; Grenier 25/5/44; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-L] Molesworth 4/6/44; landing accident with Ernie Holtorf 20/2/45; transferred 398BG Nuthampstead 22/5/45; to RAF Valley 2/6/45; Returned to the USA Bradley 9/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 13/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 28/11/45.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 43-37806 / Miss Fortune

43-37806 / Miss Fortune

Delivered Cheyenne 24/5/44; Kearney 2/6/44; Grenier 16/6/44; Assigned: 486BG Sudbury 18/6/44; Transferred: 561BS/388BG Knettishall 19/6/44; during assembly for Chemnitz 6/2/45 Pilot: George Thompson, Co-Pilot: Wetterstein was killed when chute failed, rest of crew ”, mid air coll w/43-37894 (490BG) aircraft crashed Wicken, Cambs. UK, two civilians killed; (8RTD ‘); Salvaged. MISS FORTUNE.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 44-6438

44-6438

Delivered Hunter 4/8/44; Dow Fd 16/8/44; Assigned 483BG Sterparone 9/9/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 30/6/45; Sth Plains 5/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 29/11/45.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-97638 / Follow Me

42-97638 / Follow Me

Delivered Denver 14/1/44; 1SAG Langley 4/2/44; Grenier 16/3/44; Assigned 305BG Chelveston 20/3/44; transferred 91BG Bassingbourn 27/4/44; 351BG Polebrook 14/6/44; transferred 748BS/457BG [Z] Glatton 7/8/44; 749BS; Missing in Action Politz, Ger 7/10/44 with Bill Flannery, Co-pilot: Jewell Lowery, Bombardier: John Schloendorn, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Lloyd Lagassa, Radio Operator: Dwayne Stowits (5 Killed in Action); Navigator: Morris Arnovitz, Ball turret gunner: Paul Moll, Waist gunner: George Petty,Tail gunner: Lt Walt Strossner, Lt Ray Moon {radar nav}; (5 Prisoner of War); flak, crashed Politz; Missing Air Crew Report 9773. FOLLOW ME.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 44-8179 / Cadet Nurse aka Yankee Wolf

44-8179 / Cadet Nurse aka Yankee Wolf

Delivered Dallas 30/6/44; Langley 27/7/44; Dow Fd 22/8/44; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-L] Horham 25/8/44; 335BS [OE-T]; 344BS [BG-S] battle damaged Cologne 17/10/44 with John Miller, Bombardier: Art Scroggins, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Manuel Houlis, – Harris pass), all [wia; Navigator: Lt David E Tyrrell; – Davis (Killed in Action); ? (5 Prisoner of War); crash landed Belgium. Repaired and returned to group, battle damaged Nurnberg 20/2/45 with John Roy; attacked by Me 163, force landed between Beauraing and Winnene, near Florennes, Bel; rep; with R.E. Parker, force landed A-78 Florennes AF, Bel; 26m, sal 9AF Germany 10/5/46. CADET NURSE aka YANKEE WOLF.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-31328

42-31328

Delivered Cheyenne 22/10/43; Gr Island 3/11/43; Memphis 10/11/43; Assigned: 366BS/305BG Chelveston 22/12/43; MIA Augsburg 25/2/44 Pilot: Theo Czarnecki, Co-Pilot: Paul Claus, Navigator: Ray Jarnagin, Bombardier: Bob Dannemiller, Radio Operator: Leon Steinberg, Ball Turret Gunner: Bob Scott (6POW); Engineer / Top Turret Gunner: Wesley Milligan, Waist Gunner: Alby Pettus, Waist Gunner: Rich Mateas, Tail Gunner: Craig Burton (4KIA); Enemy aircraft, crashed Nonnenberg, near Zweibruecken, 15 miles E of Saarbrucken, Germany. MACR 2764.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-37834

42-37834

Delivered Long Beach 17/9/43; Scott 28/9/43; Assigned 8AF 7/10/43; sal 31/10/45 with 9AF in Germany.

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 44-8925

44-8925

Delivered Cheyenne 9/2/45; Hunter 5/3/45; Grenier 16/3/45; Assigned 388BG Knettishall 30/3/45; RetUS, Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 2/1/46.