Dragon DRW51004 USAAF Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber - "Silver Lady", 358th Bombardment Squadron, 303rd Bombardment Group, March 1945 (1:144 Scale)
"Without any assistance from me he pulled himself back to his bombsight," Elliott continued. "I looked at my watch to start timing the fall of the bombs. I heard Jack call out on the intercom, 'bombs....'. He usually called it out in a sort of singsong. But he never finished the phrase this time. The words just sort of trickled off, and I thought his throat mike had slipped out of the place, so I finished out the phrase 'bombs away' for him....I closed the bomb bay (doors) and returned to my station."
- Jessie Elliott, Navigator aboard "The Duchess" recounting its final mission, March 18th, 1944
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.
This 1/144 scale model is finely produced with excellent levels of detail. All the weapon stations are correctly rendered, and it bears the natural metal finish found on B-17G craft. The model is based on 'The Silver Lady' as it appeared in March 1945, an aircraft operated by the 358th Bombardment Squadron. This was one of four squadrons in the 303rd Bomb Group operating from England, itself part of the 8th Air Force. The markings on this bomber are superbly reproduced, including the 303rd BG's large triangle with an inset 'C' on the tail, which looks authentically scuffed and chipped. 'The Silver Lady' has been masterfully executed in miniature, and collectors seeking the definitive B-17G will be pleased with its arrival. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 8.25 Inches
Length: 5.5 Inches
Release Date: March 2007