Boeing B17 Flying Fortress.

The 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.

It's 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.

Although 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.

In 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 of others.

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.

Boeing B17

Game Statistics:

Base Target Number: -7
Max Speed:2
Max G’s:0
Acceleration Rate:0

Armor Points:700
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.
3, .50's mounted in gun positions   ,9,10,11. two waist mounted fired in side arcs, 1 rear mounted fires to rear arc.    

Rocket Hardpoints: 18
5,000LB Bomb Load.

Special Characteristics:
Multiple Engines (4)
Accurate Bomber
Self-sealing fuel tanks.
Poor maneuverability.
Superior engines (-2 to target number)
Fuel Load (11 loads of fuel).