The Boeing 299 on fire after its crash at Wright Field on Oct. 30, 1935. The crash site was less than one mile east from the location of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
In the summer of 1935, the Boeing Airplane Co. unveiled its Model 299, a remarkable four-engine, high-speed, long-range, heavy bomber which was eventually designated the B-17 Flying Fortress. This plane, although destined to change the complexion of aerial warfare, initially failed to convince the Army's General Staff of its merits and capabilities. As a result, the General Staff directed that the major portion of funds for the purchase of bombers be spent for cheaper two-engine Douglas B-18s, rather than more costly four-engine B-17s, believing the latter type an expensive and unnecessary luxury.
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