Armour Collection B11F001 USAAF Boeing SB-17G Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber - Air Sea Rescue, 1944-1956 (1:48 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 frontline 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.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a USAAF Boeing SB-17G Flying Fortress heavy bomber employed in the Air Sea Rescue role from 1944-1956. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 25 inches
Length: 16.5 inches
Release Date: April 2009
Historical Account: "Angels" - From 1945-1948, 12 B-17G's were converted to B-17H's equipped with an airborne lifeboat and ASV radar for USAAF air-sea rescue duties. The US Coast Guard flew 17 similar aircraft as PB-1G's.