Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Air Force 1 Returns With a War Winner

 

 

Air Force 1’s 1:72 scale USAAF Boeing B-17G-30-BO Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber – “Nine-O-Nine”, 323rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, Bassingbourn, England, 1944
“Why, it’s a flying fortress.”
– Richard Williams, reporter for the Seattle Times, upon seeing a B-17 heavy bomber for the first time

The Boeing B-17 is one of those iconic aircraft of the Second World War that instantly conjures up images of the Allied powers fighting back against Nazi aggression. Swarms of B-17s were used to take the war back to the Axis powers, striking their targets deep inside enemy territory under a campaign known as daylight precision bombing. As a result, many collectors can’t seem to get enough of the venerable “Flying Fortress”, despite their huge footprint on a typical desk, shelf or ceiling tie off.

That said, Air Force 1’s second look at the B-17 is due to arrive in late February, and is decked out in an olive drab exterior that seems to be more familiar to aviation buffs than their first reproduction, which was a cacophony of polished silver, yellow and burnished parts that made it look more at home in a salvage yard than as a front line bomber. Indeed part number AF10110A portrays a USAAF Boeing B-17G-30-BO Flying Fortress heavy bomber known as “Nine-O-Nine”, which was attached to the 323rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, then deployed to Bassingbourn, England, during 1944.

For those unfamiliar with this craft,  “Nine-O-Nine” completed 140 combat missions during World War II, believed to be the Eighth Air Force record for most missions, without loss to the crews that flew it.

The original aircraft, a block 30 B-17G manufactured by Boeing, was nicknamed after the last three digits of her serial number: 42-31909. Nine-0-Nine was added to the USAAF inventory on December 15th, 1943, and flown overseas on February 5th, 1944. After depot modifications, she was delivered to the 91st BG at RAF Bassingbourn, England, on February 24th, 1944, as a replacement aircraft, one of the last B-17s received in factory-applied camouflage paint.

A former navigator of the 91st BG, Marion Havelaar, reported in his history of the group that Nine-O-Nine completed either 126 or 132 consecutive missions without aborting for mechanical reasons, also believed to be a record. M/Sgt. Rollin L. Davis, maintenance line chief of the bomber, received the Bronze Star for his role in achieving the record.

Her first bombing raid was on Augsburg, Germany, on February 25th, 1944. She made 18 bombing raids on Berlin. In all she flew 1,129 hours and dropped 562,000 pounds of bombs. She had 21 engine changes, four wing panel changes, 15 main gas tank changes, and 18 changes of Tokyo tanks (long-range fuel tanks).

After the hostilities ceased in Europe, Nine-O-Nine was returned to the United States on June 8th, 1945, and was consigned to the RFC facility at Kingman, Arizona on December 7th, 1945, and eventually scrapped.

“Nine-O-Nine” is now en route to us and expected the last week of February..

 

 
Share This:

Anyone Up for a Bit ‘o Lace?

AF1 B17a

The first image has surfaced of Air Force 1’s upcoming 1:72 scale B-17G Flying Fortress bomber. Based upon a four-engine heavy bomber that flew with the 709th Bombardment Squadron, 447th Bombardment Group, then deployed to Rattlesden, Norfolk, England in early 1945, the upgunned G version features the insidious chin turret which was designed to help ward off enemy fighters from making a head-on attack.

AF10110a

 

Likewise, the replica boasts all of the other armament that helped give the plane its dubious moniker, from its top- and ball turret battlements to its twin waist and rear defensive guns. And not a Chinese crewman in sight! Look for this beauty to begin its bomb run some time in June.

AF10110f

 
Share This:

Where For Art Thou B-17?

AF1 B17

Certainly one of the most anticipated products for 2016 is the Air Force 1 1:72 scale Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Decked out in the livery of “Bit ‘o Lace”, a “G” model that flew with the 709th Bomb Squadron, 447th Bombardment Group, then based at Rattlesden, Norfolk, in 1945, we first learned of this warplane well over a year ago, yet despite the lengthy wait, we haven’t so much as seen an image of the replica, much less heard of a firm ship date. Currently, “Bit ‘o Lace” is slated for a May touch down, although this will likely slip seeing as how it should be wheeled out of its design hangar in completed form right about now. We’re hoping they get it right, because there are literally loads of follow-on bombers they can replicate, and a host of other variants screaming out to be modeled, all at a price point designed to help move gaggles of product. Keep your fingers crossed we see this item soon, hopefully well before Father’s Day.

 

 
Share This:

Air Force 1 Enlists in the 8th Air Force

AF10110

With its eyes set on the skies, Air Force 1 Model Company announced plans to offer a 1:72 scale replica of the war-winning Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber. Their first effort will be a USAAF Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber, nicknamed “A Bit O’ Lace”, which flew with the 447th Bombardment Group, and was deployed to Rattlesden, Norfolk, England, during 1945 (#AF10110). Priced at just $99.99, this is quite a steal, considering the workmanship. detail, amount of diecast metal and price of other similar 1:72 scale aircraft. It even comes with a heavy metal display stand. Look for “A Bit O’ Lace” to take to the skies this August.

 
Share This:

Corgi's B-17 Set: 12 O'Clock High

AA39915

Well, we got the call today from Corgi to indicate that their long awaited B-17 combination set is in stock and headed our way. Because the manufacturer is located up in Washington and we’re clear across the country in New York (not to mention our upcoming vacation closure), we expect to take delivery of these aircraft on or around the 16th. At this time, virtually all of the sets allocated to us have been spoken for since enthusiasts and historians alike recognize their worth as valuable additions to any collection. Don’t be surprised if all of the sets get snapped up tout de suite, and rise in value quickly once they become increasingly hard-to-find. Also expected in this cache is a brand new Panavia Tornado and Vickers Valiant.

 
Share This:

Corgi’s B-17 Set: 12 O’Clock High

AA39915

Well, we got the call today from Corgi to indicate that their long awaited B-17 combination set is in stock and headed our way. Because the manufacturer is located up in Washington and we’re clear across the country in New York (not to mention our upcoming vacation closure), we expect to take delivery of these aircraft on or around the 16th. At this time, virtually all of the sets allocated to us have been spoken for since enthusiasts and historians alike recognize their worth as valuable additions to any collection. Don’t be surprised if all of the sets get snapped up tout de suite, and rise in value quickly once they become increasingly hard-to-find. Also expected in this cache is a brand new Panavia Tornado and Vickers Valiant.

 
Share This:

Corgi Embarks Upon its Bomber Campaign

AA39915

In what can only be viewed as good news for bomber aficionados, Corgi has confirmed the imminent arrival of its 1:72 scale B-17 Flying Fortress and Bf 108G-6 mega pack. Originally slated for a fourth quarter releases, this unique combination set is scheduled to arrive at Corgi’s facility on the 22nd, which means we should have our allocation by the end of August (#AA39915).

AA39915 Compilation

In related news, their humongous 1:72 scale Avro Vulcan bomber has also been moved up on the release schedule, and is now expected in the September/October time frame (#AA27201).

AA27201

Both of these sets are truly massive, and, as such, are ineligible for any free shipping discounts we ordinarily offer. On the plus side, you can still pre-order either of these heavies using our 15% off discount.

AA27201a

 
Share This:

Feel Like Restoring a B-17 to Flying Condition?

b-17-600x400-ts300

The Champaign Aviation Museum in Urbana, Ohio, is looking for volunteers to help them restore a Boeing B-17 heavy bomber. nicknamed “Champaign Lady”, to pristine condition. Seven years into the project, the restorers are looking for extra pairs of hands — with or without a “Rosie the Riveter” skill set — to turn their labor of love into the sixteenth airworthy Flying Fortress. For more information on the project, visit this link:

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/01/08/volunteers-restoring-the-b17-champaign-lady.html?comp=700001075741&rank=5

 
Share This: