(1935) Stalwart of Allied air power takes its first flightBoeing sends its new four-engine bomber on a test flight, and a reporter dubs the behemoth, fitted out with multiple machine guns, the ‘flying fortress.’ Before a decade is over, the B-17 bomber will live up to that nickname, with extensive service in the skies over Europe and the Pacific in World War II.The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps. Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and exceeded the air corps’ performance specifications. Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the air corps ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances.
Maximum speed: 287.01 mph (461.90 km/h) Length: 74′ 4″ (22.66 m) Wingspan: 104 feet (31.60 m) Passengers: 10 Retired: 1968 Manufacturer: Boeing Military operators of the B-17 Civil operators of the B-17