Amercom ACLB02 USAAF Boeing B-17F-25 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber - "Sky Wolf", 358th Bombardment Squadron, 303rd Bombardment Group, 1944 (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 B-17F-25 bears the name 'Sky Wolf', and carries markings of the 358th Bombardment Squadron - Heavy (part of the 303rd Bomb Group), a USAF unit that flew over Germany in 1944 and 1945. The bomber's markings are accurately and expertly rendered and defined, while die cast metal lends strength and realistic weight to this model. Detail is full, allowing the landing gear to be displayed lowered or in flying mode. The numerous machine gun turrets are delicately rendered, ready to instantly fire upon any tango fighters! This fine model is an accurate representation of the world's first mass-produced four-engine bomber. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 8.25 inches
Length: 5.5 inches
Release Date: May 2014