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Posted 6/25/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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Boeing B-17F
Boeing B-17F-130-BO (S/N 42-30949) "Jumpin' Jive." (U.S. Air Force photo)
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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 11 .50-cal. 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 pounds. The B-17F could carry almost double the bomb load of any previous version, but the normal cruise speed dropped by almost 70 mph due to a large increase in aircraft gross weight. Three thousand four hundred and five F models were built by three manufacturers: Boeing (2,300), 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. 

The museum has B-17F Memphis Belle® in its collection.

Type Number built/
B-17F 3,405 Improved B-17E

Armament: 11 .50-cal. machine guns and 8,000 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Four Wright R-1820-97 turbo-supercharged radials of 1200 hp each
Maximum speed: 325 mph at 25,000 ft.
Cruising speed: 160 mph at 5,000 ft.
Service ceiling: 37,500 ft.
Range: 2,800 miles (maximum ferry range)
Span: 103 ft. 9 in.
Length: 74 ft. 9 in.
Height: 19 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 56,500 lbs. gross weight (actual - normal load)
Serial numbers: Boeing production: 41-24340 to 24639; 42-5050 to 42-5484; 42-29467 to 42- 31031; Douglas production: 42-2964 to 42-3562; 42-37714 to 42-37720; Lockheed-Vega production: 42-5705 to 42-6204

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