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G-BEDF Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress c/n 8693 - USAAF 124485 DF-A - Groningen Airport Eelde, Holland - 26 September 2005 Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ)

The Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress is four-engine heavy bomber that accommodates 2 pilots, 1 bombardier, 1 radio-operator and 5 gunners. The Boeing B-17G is equipped with 11 to 13 machine guns and a bomb-load of 9.600-pound could be carried. The B-17 was designed in response to a 1934 U.S. Army Air Corp (USAAC) request for a "multi-engine" bomber as a replacement for the ageing Martin B-10. The Boeing Aircraft Company started in 1934 with the development and construction of the Model 229, a four-engine heavy bomber. The Boeing Model 299 prototype, X-13372, powered by four 750hp Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet engines, flew first on 29 July 1935. The government ordered 13 flying airframes and 1 non-flying airframe of the improved Model 299 aircraft, now designated the Boeing YB-17, renamed Y1B-17 and later redesignated B-17A. Delivery of the Boeing Y1B-17s, powered by four 850 hp Wright R-1820-39 Cyclone engines, took place in 1937. The B-17 was developed further and a growing number was built. In September 1943, the B-17G, powered four 1.200 hp Wright R-1820-97 engines entered production. When production ended in 1945 a total of 12.726 B-17s in various models, including 8.680 Boeing B-17Gs, were built by Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed Vega.

Boeing B-17G-105-VE Flying Fortress s/n 8693 G-BEDF (ex. N17TE, F-BGSR, 44-85784) of the B17 Preservation Ltd. is based at Duxford in the UK. The G-BEDF "Sally B" is operated since 1976 as Britain's only airworthy Flying Fortress. The bomber visited Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands when it was used for the movie "Zwartboek" together with and against the Harvard N13FY that was painted in Luftwaffe colours and acted as a Messerschmitt. The action for the movie took place over Giethoorn. The Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress G-BEDF was built in 1944 by Lockheed Vega and delivered to the United States Air Force as 44-85784. The 44-85784 was acquired by the French organisation IGN - EP Institut Geographique National, registered as F-BGSR on 11 November 1954, and based at Creil near Paris. The F-BGSR was sold in the UK and registered N17TE on 15 March 1975. On 5 August 1976, the aircraft was registered in the UK as G-BEDF.

page last updated: 28-09-2005
Photo Copyright © Jack Poelstra, the Netherlands

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