Dragon DRW51007 USAAF Boeing B-17G-40 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber - "Flak Eater", 364th Bombardment Squadron, 305th Bombardment Group, September 1944 (1:144 Scale)
"In the future, war will be waged essentially against the unarmed populations of the cities and great industrial centers."
- Italian General Giulio Douhet
In the mid-1930s, Boeing engineers suggested the idea of building a big bomber to the U.S. Army Air Corps. At the time, the best American bomber in front line service was an inadequate twin-engine adaptation of the DC-3 transport. The decision to go ahead with the B-17 Flying Fortress was a courageous leap forward: it gave the United States an embryonic strategic bomber force by the time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The first prototype flew on July 28, 1935 while the first production B-17s were delivered to the Air Corps between December 1936 and August 1937 (13 aircraft).
The B-17 will always be remembered as the most celebrated four-engine strategic aircraft of WW II, maybe of all time. From the summer of 1943 onwards, huge numbers of Boeing's great silver bird were found on airfields throughout the English countryside. Early B-17s did not have enough guns and were not available in sufficient numbers, but as the war progressed the Flying Fortresses took command of the skies. The most extensively built variant was the B-17G (8,680 planes), which were built by Douglas and Lockheed Vega as well as Boeing. Pratt & Whitney R-1820-97 engines and improved turbochargers enabled the B-17G to operate at an altitude of up to 35,000 feet. The addition of a chin turret below the nose provided better defense against head-on attacks being launched by Luftwaffe fighter pilots who were desperately attempting to reduce the number of 'Forts' striking daily at targets deep in Germany. Special upgunned variants included the B-40 which had up to 30 machine guns and were intended for use as a B-17 escort, proved to be an operational failure as was the BQ-7 pilotless aircraft, which was packed with bombs and flown to its target using radio control equipment.
Dragon Warbirds recently announced its first ever B-17G Flying Fortress, this being produced in 1/144 scale for an optimal balance of detail and convenient size. Such was the demand from the public that a second B-17G is now being added to the range. The B-17G was the definitive Flying Fortress version that started rolling off production lines in July 1943. Eventually, 8680 were manufactured, and the B-17 bomber ended up dropping more bombs than any other American plane in WWII. It's understandable that this four-engine bomber was labeled a 'flying fortress', for it had no less than 13 M2 .50-cal machine guns! The B-17G featured a new power-operated chin-type turret with twin .50-cal MGs to counter head-on attacks.
This 1/144 scale model possesses an excellent level of detail, and it has the natural metal finish found on B-17G aircraft. The precisely registered markings depict those of the 364th Bombardment Squadron, one of four squadrons of the 305th Bomb Group based in England that conducted bombing missions against Germany. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 8.25 inches
Length: 5.5 inches
Release Date: March 2008
Historical Account: "Triangle G" - This model represents 'Flak Eater', an aircraft that first saw service on April 17th, 1944, and survived the war. The distinctive 305th BG 'triangle G' insignia is a feature of this aircraft, as is the bright green horizontal band across the tail that was introduced in August 1944. The nose art includes a shark's mouth, which lends a mean and aggressive look to this model. Collectors wishing to build up their Allied bomber fleets will welcome the arrival of this new and colorful B-17G.