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. When it was finally retired from military service, it had the distinction of being the last B-17 on active duty.
Following military service, Piccadilly Lilly II lay dormant until being revived as a movie star. It appeared in 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.
The museum is currently restoring its B-17G to flying status.
|Status: Restoring to Flight
||Length: 74 ft. 4 in.
|Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft
||Height: 19 ft. 1 in.
||Maximum Speed: 302 mph
|Model: B-17G Flying Fortress
||Cruise Speed: 160 mph
|Serial Number: N3713G
||Power Plant: Four, 1200 hp Wright Cyclone R-1820-97
turbocharged 9-cylinder radial engines
||Range: 2000 miles
|Max T/O Weight: 65,500 lbs.
||Service Ceiling: 36,500 ft.
|Span: 103 ft. 9 in.
||Armament: 13, 0.50-cal machine guns and 6,000 lbs. of bombs