XO Retro Flying Fortress Series
OX Retro Flying Fortress collection is an Air-Force Watch line. It comes with the DNA Certificate of Vintage 1943 WWII B-17 Flying Fortress. Special designs including dash board horizontal chronograph sub-dials to display 60 second Chronograph Minute and 24 hours time. Featured with 316L stainless case amalgamated with 1943 B-17 Flying Fortress DNA; Hardened mineral crystal with Diamondfx coating; 44 mm case would be loved by both man and woman, Genuine leather strap; 22 mm bandwidth; 50 Meters water resistance.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and more than met the Air Corps' expectations. Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the Air Corps was so impressed with Boeing's design that they ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances.
The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force based at many airfields in southern England, such as Thorpe Abbotts airfield and the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy - with many units stationed at the existing bases surrounding Foggia - complemented the RAF Bomber Command's nighttime area bombing in Operation Pointblank to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for Operation Overlord. The B-17 also participated to a lesser extent in the War in the Pacific where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields.
From its pre-war inception, the USAAC (later USAAF) touted the aircraft as a strategic weapon; it was a potent, high-flying, long-range bomber that was able to defend itself, and to return home despite extensive battle damage. It quickly took on mythic proportions and widely circulated stories and photos of B-17s surviving battle damage increased its iconic status. With a service ceiling greater than any of its Allied contemporaries, the B-17 established itself as an effective weapons system, dropping more bombs than any other U.S. aircraft in World War II. Of the 1.5 million metric tons of bombs dropped on Germany and its occupied territories by U.S. aircraft, 640,000 tons were dropped from B-17s.
As of September 2011, 13 airframes remain airworthy, with dozens more in storage or on static display.
On 8 August 1934, the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) tendered a proposal for a multi-engined bomber to replace the Martin B-10. The Air Corps was looking for a bomber capable of reinforcing the air forces in Hawaii, Panama, and Alaska. Requirements were that it would carry a "useful bomb-load" at an altitude of 10,000 feet (3 km) for 10 hours with a top speed of at least 200 miles per hour (320 km/h).
They also desired, but did not require, a range of 2,000 miles (3,200 km) and a speed of 250 miles per hour (400 km/h). The competition for the Air Corps contract would be decided by a "fly-off" between Boeing's design, the Douglas DB-1, and the Martin Model 146 at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio.
The prototype B-17, designated Model 299, was designed by a team of engineers led by E. Gifford Emery and Edward Curtis Wells, and was built at Boeing's own expense. It combined features of the experimental Boeing XB-15 bomber with the Boeing 247 transport aircraft. The B-17's armament consisted of up to 4,800 pounds (2,200 kg) of bombs on two racks in the bomb bay behind the cockpit, and initially possessed five 0.30 inches (7.62 mm) machine guns. It was powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-1690 "Hornet" radial engines each producing 750 horsepower (600 kW) at 7,000 feet (2,100 m).
The first flight of the Model 299 was on 28 July 1935 with Boeing chief test-pilot Leslie Tower at the controls. Richard Williams, a reporter for the Seattle Times, coined the name "Flying Fortress" when the Model 299 was rolled out bristling with multiple machine gun installations. The most unique gun emplacement was the nose installation (see note for description and drawing), which allowed the single machine gun to be fired toward almost any frontal angle that an approaching enemy fighter would take to attack the B-17.
Boeing was quick to see the value of the name and had it trademarked for use. Boeing also claimed in some of the early press releases that Model 299 was the first combat aircraft that could continue its mission if one of its four engines, for whatever reason, failed. On 20 August 1935, the prototype flew from Seattle to Wright Field in nine hours and three minutes at an average cruising speed of 252 miles per hour (406 km/h), much faster than the competition.
At the fly-off, the four-engine Boeing's performance was superior to those of the twin-engine DB-1 and Model 146. Then-Major General Frank Maxwell Andrews of the GHQ Air Force believed that the long-range capabilities of four-engine large aircraft were more effective than shorter-ranged, twin-engine aircraft, and that the B-17 was better suited to their doctrine. His opinions were shared by the Air Corps procurement officers, and even before the competition had finished they suggested buying 65 B-17s.
Development continued on the Boeing Model 299, and on 30 October 1935, Army Air Corps test-pilot Major Ployer Peter Hill and Boeing employee Les Tower took the Model 299 on a second evaluation flight. Inadvertently, the crew forgot to disengage the "gust locks," a system of devices that held the bomber's movable control surfaces in place while the aircraft was parked on the ground. After take-off, the aircraft entered a steep climb, stalled, nosed over, and crashed, killing Hill and Tower (other observers survived with injuries).
The crashed Model 299 could not finish the evaluation, and while the Air Corps was still enthusiastic about the aircraft's potential, Army officials were daunted by the much greater expense per aircraft (Douglas quoted a unit price of $58,200 based on a production order of 220 aircraft, compared with a price of $99,620 from Boeing), and as the competition could not be completed Boeing was legally disqualified from the consideration for the contract. Army Chief of Staff Malin Craig cancelled the order for 65 YB-17s, and ordered 133 of the twin-engine Douglas B-18 Bolo instead.
U.S Air Force
Following the end of World War II, the B-17 was quickly phased out of use as a bomber and the Army Air Forces retired most of its fleet. Flight crews ferried the bombers back across the Atlantic to the United States where the majority were sold for scrap and melted down, although significant numbers remained in use in second-line roles such as VIP transports, air-sea rescue and photo-reconnaissance. Strategic Air Command (SAC), established in 1946, used reconnaissance B-17s (at first called F-9 (F for Fotorecon), later RB-17) until 1949. With the disestablishment of the U.S. Army Air Forces and the establishment of an independent U.S. Air Force in 1947, most extant B-17s were transferred to USAF.
The USAF Air Rescue Service of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) operated B-17s as so-called "Dumbo" air-sea rescue aircraft. Work on using B-17s to carry airborne lifeboats had begun in 1943, but they entered service in the European theater only in February 1945, also being used to provide search and rescue support for B-29 raids against Japan. About 130 B-17s were converted to the air-sea rescue role, at first designated B-17H and later SB-17G. Some SB-17s had their defensive guns removed, while others retained their guns to allow use close to combat areas. The SB-17 served through the Korean War, remaining in service with USAF until the mid-1950s.
See also: 3205th Drone Group
In 1946, surplus B-17s were chosen as drone aircraft for atmospheric sampling during the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests, being able to fly close to or even though the mushroom clouds without endangering a crew. This led to more widespread conversion of B-17s as drones and drone control aircraft, both for further use in atomic testing and as targets for testing surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. One hundred and seven B-17s were converted to drones. The last operational mission flown by a USAF Fortress was conducted on 6 August 1959, when DB-17P, AF Ser. No. 44-83684 directed a QB-17G, AF Ser. No. 44-83717, out of Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, as a target for an AIM-4 Falcon air-to-air missile fired from an McDonnell F-101 Voodoo. A retirement ceremony was held several days later at Holloman AFB, after which 44-83684 was retired to the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. Perhaps the most famous B-17, the Memphis Belle, is currently being fastidiously restored to its World War II wartime appearance by the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.