David Knights' Weblog

February 26, 2020

B-17E 41-9112 Dreamboat

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:49 pm

A great post from Jeff “Inch High” Groves on something I had never heard of. I was aware of the YB-40, but not this.

Inch High Guy

41-9112_01While the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was arguably one of the most important aircraft designs of the Second World War, even the best designs can be improved.  Combat experience against the Luftwaffe over Europe identified several potential improvements suggested by the crews.  The job of evaluating those changes was given to Major Robert J. Reed.  Reed was sent to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio and given B-17E 41-9112 to experiment on.

41-9112_02Reed replaced much of the B-17E defensive armament with components already in production for the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.  The most obvious changes were mounting powered turrets in the nose and tail positions.  Jagdwaffe pilots had identified the hand-held nose armament as a weak point in the Fortresses defenses, and the tail position had a very restricted field of fire.  The Liberator turrets remedied both these problems at a stroke.

41-9112_03With the nose position now occupied by a turret the…

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