Planes of Fame Air Museum
Planes of Fame Air Museum
Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  Boeing B-17G 'Flying Fortress'


  • The B-17 was designed in response to a need for a long-range maritime patrol aircraft. The prototype, designated 'Model 299', first flew on July 28, 1935. The first service-test aircraft was delivered in January 1937. The first production B-17Bs entered service in mid 1939. Twenty B-17Cs were delivered to the Royal Air Force for use over Europe. The B-17Ds bore the brunt of the early fighting in the Pacific. The aircraft was continually improved and ultimately evolved into the B-17G with its distinctive chin turret.
  • Although it served in all theaters of WW II, it is best known for its role in daylight bombing over Europe. A total of 12,731 B-17s were built, of which 8,680 were G models.
  • Planes of Fame Air Museum's B-17 was built by Douglas Aircraft and entered service too late to see combat. It served in a few training units, was placed in storage, and then placed back in service as a drone controller.
  • Following military service, Piccadilly Lilly II lay dormant until being revived as a movie star.
  • The museum is currently restoring its B-17G to flying status.


  • Upon being retired from military service, Planes of Fame Air Museum's B-17 had the distinction of being the last B-17 on active duty.
  • The Museum's B-17 appeared in the movies:  'The Thousand Plane Raid', 'Fort Apache', and 'Black Sheep Squadron'. It is best known for its role as 'Piccadilly Lilly' on the television series 'Twelve O'clock High.'



Status: Restoring to Flight
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft
Year: 1939
Model: B-17G Flying Fortress
Registration Number: N3713G
Serial Number: 44-83684 
Crew: 10
Max T/O Weight: 65,500 lb.
Span: 103 ft. 9 in.
Length: 74 ft. 4 in.
Height: 19 ft. 1 in.
Maximum Speed: 302 mph
Cruise Speed: 160 mph
Rate of Climb: 720 ft/min
Power Plant: Four, 1200 hp Wright Cyclone R-1820-97 turbocharged 9-cylinder radial engines
Range: 2000 miles
Service Ceiling: 36,500 ft.
Armament: 13, 0.50-cal machine guns and 6,000 lbs. of bombs


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