The B-17 Flying Fortress is a heavy bomber from World War II. A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, firing torpedoes at them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.
12,700 planes produced, entered service 1939.
In 1934, the Army issued specs for a “multi” engine bomber, which Boeing interpreted as four engines. While the Martin B-10 bomber seemed adequate at the time to defend the continental United States, with great foresight Boeing designed an altogether heavier, faster, higher-flying, and longer-range bomber, which proved to be invaluable in the strategic air battles over Germany.
B-17F specs: top speed 295 MPH, 17,600 lb. bombload, twelve .50 caliber machine guns