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Blog topic: B-17 Bomber Models

March 5, 2015

Model kit of a B-17D bomber

1/72 scale model kit of a B-17D bomber made by Academy.

The B-17 F was a much more substantial aircraft than the D model. I have the 1/72 scale Revell model kit of the Memphis Belle, the famous B-17F that finished twenty-five bombing missions and was sent back to the United States to do a war bond tour. The B-17F had a much heavier tail section, and had a rear gunner's position with twin machine guns. The vertical stabilizer was also more substantial, with an extended fillet from the rudder, extending back up the spine of the fuselage. The nose of the B-17F also was elongated as compared to the D model and the Sperry ball turret replaced the gunner's tub in the belly.

B-17 G model kit

1/72 scale model kit of a B-17F bomber made by Revell.

The latest addition to my model collection is a Boeing B-17G kit, manufactured by MPC, and is the third in my series of B-17s. It has a turret under the front nose to fend off frontal attacks. The earlier E and F models had one or two machine guns mounted in the plexiglas which made them difficult to operate.

The G model also had two machine guns in the chin, one on either side of the nose. The G series put a solid, power assisted turret on the nose that had twin 50 caliber machine guns that were aligned so that it had a lot more fire power. Although technically not the final version, it was both the most produced version and the last to be produced in large numbers. There were, however, additional modifications made to the G version, the most notable being the Cheyenne turret on the tail.

B-17 G model kit

1/72 scale model kit of a B-17G bomber from the Profile Series by MPC. This model has Bendix chin turrets and Cheyenne tail turret.

The Cheyenne turret was installed after the aircraft left the manufacturing plant. The newly manufactured aircraft would fly to Cheyenne, Wyoming to have the turret installed – hence the name Cheyenne turret. The tail gunner's position was enlarged to improve visibility and a turret was added that had a powered control and a wider range of movement for the twin machine guns.

Another modification made to the B-17Gs that wasn't visible, was the addition of more fuel tanks in the wings. These tanks were called the Tokyo tanks because they would presumably give the B-17 enough range to fly from Seattle, all the way to Tokyo. Of course that's only one way, and they never were actually flown to Tokyo.



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