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.