| Boeing B17 Flying Fortress.
new "Flagship" aircraft of Boeing has recently been unveiled. The B-17,
first rolled off of Boeings Pacifica lines, when viewed by a reporter
from the Seattle Times, said "Why, it's a Flying Fortress" which has
stuck with the bomber ever since.
Although the somewhat older
B15 is still a modern aircraft, and larger in comparison, the Flying
Fortress is everything the B15 was not. The B17 has a range advantage
(2125 miles compared to 1600 at maximum bomb load), it has heavier
armament (Although the B15 could be rectified with that). But the
aircraft were meant for two differant roles.
The B15 is a high
altitude, medium range heavy bomber capable of dropping massive
bombloads on fixed installations, without interferance by fighters or
anti-aircraft guns. The Flying Fortress is a medium
altitude, long range bomber capable of dropping medium bombloads on
semi-mobile targets and fixed installations, and is capable of fending
off attacking fighters.
The B17 is already massively popular,
Boeing is booked up 6 months ahead on orders, and has lessened
production of its lethargic Groundhog to produce this plane.
advantages include a massive anti-aircraft defensive firepower. A
chin-mounted twin turrent containing .50 calibers reduces the
effectiveness of the frontal attacks, sometimes so effective on
bombers, a pair of waist-mounted .50 calibers deters the side shots,
and allows (Mostly ineffective) snap shots at aircraft departing after
an attack run. There is a dorsal mounted swivel .50 as well, but it is
notoriously difficult mounted, and it's reputation for missing
relatively easy shots is well known. Rounding out the armament is a
dorsal mounted 360 degree turrent, a new development, but a massive
upgrade on the Fortress, allowing defensive fire in any direction, in
support of the guns already covering those arcs.
It has a bomb
bay capable of holding 5,000 pounds of bombs, in up to four seperate
bays, and is set up to accomodate weights ranging from 100, to 1000
pounds. This is achieved by removing the hardpoints from the wings and
bringing that weight to the internal bomb bays.
If the aircraft
has one downpoint, it is that it takes a extremely competant pilot to
fly, more than many comparable bombers. It's engines.
powerful, and easily capable of holding the aircraft at a constant 200
MPH, it has acceleration problems, brought on by the designers
attempting to cram as much weaponry and armor into the design as
possible. To take off, accelerate once in the air, requires the pilots
to redline the engines to accelerate, then back them off once airborne.
This is capable due to the aircrafts premium engines(In stock order, in
some special orders the engines are replaced with less expensive equels
with a noticeable loss in mission capability).
Also, a common
practice is for once the aircraft is airborne, to remain at 200MPH
speed, but once combat status has been reached, for the pilot to begin
over-throttling the engines to achieve a constant 250 MPH speed, of
which the engines are capable of, if a skilled pilot is at the stick.
The results could be disasterous if a lesser-skilled pilot attempts
this, often resulting in the engines choking and throttling down to
under 150 MPH, or worse, stalling.
A second (Albeit minor)
drawback is it's lack of maneuverability, which contemperary companies
are quick to point out. Even minor turns are a tough attempt in this
aircraft, Boeing has countered this by saying the aircrafts thick armor
and heavy defensive firepower, offset this minor inconveniance. Results
achieved this far seem to be in Boeings favor.
Currently Pacifica has placed an order for 8 of these aircraft, the Empire State has also placed an order for 8.
a surprise move, the French Legion has placed an order for these,
totalling 16 aircraft. Although a surprise, in actuality, the B17 far
outranges the current French heavy bombers, and with their placing of
them in French Guyana, the meaning is clear....That they intend to
exert influence in the Caribbean in the near future, also a nod to
Texas that it's precious Longhorn bomber now has a contempary. It would
take only hours for the bombers to be moved from Guyana to their base
in Mexico (France forced a concession of roughly 15 square miles of
territory from Mexico's coast neat Veracruz, serving as a naval and air
base. Mexico did not take much arm-twisting, the benefit being another
anti-Texas force within their border, with the power to back it up not
lost on them).
Other orders have included 2 by Kahn Industries
of the South Pacific (For convoy escort, and long range patrol), a half
dozen by the Confederation of Dixie (Britains Balmoral being a good
bomber, does not have the range offered by the B17), and a scattering
Including an order for 4 from the Republican
Government of Spain (Along with half a dozen Groundhogs, and a pair of
B15s), obviously attempting to counter the newly arrived Heinkell
111's, and Savoia Marchetti 79's employed by the Nationalists.
Base Target Number: -7
Port Wing Leading:120
Port Wing Trailing:120
Starboard Wing Leading:120
Starboard Wing Trailing:120
Weapon: 7, 50 calibers, turrent mounted.
2, .50's mounted in gun positions 3,
and 4. Twin, chin turrent, electrically operated, fires to forword arc, -1 to deadeye.
2, .50's mounted in gun positions 12,
and 13. Twin Dorsal 360 degree turrent, electrically operated, -1 to deadeye.
.50's mounted in gun positions ,9,10,11. two waist mounted
fired in side arcs, 1 rear mounted fires to rear
Rocket Hardpoints: 18
5,000LB Bomb Load.
Multiple Engines (4)
Self-sealing fuel tanks.
Superior engines (-2 to target number)
Fuel Load (11 loads of fuel).