The B-17 is one of the most recognizable bomber aircraft of World War 2.  During its production run, over 12,731 B-17's were built in various configurations.  The B-17F was essentially a production version of the B-17E after all the improvements and modifications were incorporated into the design. The defensive armament was increased to eleven .50-caliber machine guns including increased frontal protection in the form of cheek guns. More powerful engines and improved propellers allowed for a maximum bomb load of 8,000 lbs. The B-17F could carry almost double the bomb load of any previous version, but the normal cruise speed dropped by almost 70 miles per hour due to a large increase in aircraft gross weight. Three thousand four hundred and five -F models were built by three manufacturers: Boeing (2300), Douglas (605) and Lockheed-Vega (500).  Like the B-17E, combat experience pointed out problems with B-17F design which were rapidly fixed during the production run. Major improvements done while the B-17F was in production included the addition of external bomb racks, cheek guns (initially a mod center improvement), and the Bendix chin turret which became a standard on the B-17G. Only a few remain with about a dozen in flying condition.  A total of 3405 B-17Fs were built--2300 by Boeing, 605 by Douglas, and 500 by Lockheed-Vega..Credit: U.S. Air Force via CNP
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The B-17 is one of the most recognizable bomber aircraft of World War 2.  During its production run, over 12,731 B-17's were built in various configurations.  The B-17F was essentially a production version of the B-17E after all the improvements and modifications were incorporated into the design. The defensive armament was increased to eleven .50-caliber machine guns including increased frontal protection in the form of cheek guns. More powerful engines and improved propellers allowed for a maximum bomb load of 8,000 lbs. The B-17F could carry almost double the bomb load of any previous version, but the normal cruise speed dropped by almost 70 miles per hour due to a large increase in aircraft gross weight. Three thousand four hundred and five -F models were built by three manufacturers: Boeing (2300), Douglas (605) and Lockheed-Vega (500). Like the B-17E, combat experience pointed out problems with B-17F design which were rapidly fixed during the production run. Major improvements done while the B-17F was in production included the addition of external bomb racks, cheek guns (initially a mod center improvement), and the Bendix chin turret which became a standard on the B-17G. Only a few remain with about a dozen in flying condition. A total of 3405 B-17Fs were built--2300 by Boeing, 605 by Douglas, and 500 by Lockheed-Vega..Credit: U.S. Air Force via CNP

Filename: 031313USAF-History015.jpg
Source: Consolidated News Photos
Date: 27 Aug 2002
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Credit: U.S. Air Force via CNP
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