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Happy Birthday B-17 Flying Fortress!

At 81 years young, the iconic Boeing still soldiers on…

Back on July 28, 1935, the might B-17 Flying Fortress took to the skies over western Washington on it’s maiden flight.  The B-17 was Boeing’s answer to the Army Air Corps’ request for a large, multi-engine bomber.  Boeing went from design to first test-flight in just 12 months.  It was an amazing accomplishment that was made possible because the B-17 utilized previous Boeing research (the XB-15 bomber) and structures from the Boeing 247.

The Boeing was advanced in a number of ways.  It was Boeing’s first flight deck instead of an open air cockpit.  It was powered by 4 Pratt and Whitney R-1690 radial engines that each produced 750hp.

The B-17 proved itself during World War II.  The iconic Boeing bomber dropped 640,000 of 1.5M pounds of bombs over Germany.

A total of 12,731 Flying Fortresses were built.  As of 2015, only 10  B-17s remain airworthy.

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