The Flying Fortress is one of the most famous airplanes ever built. The B-17 prototype
first flew on July 28, 1935. Few B-17s were in service on December 7, 1941, but production
quickly accelerated. The aircraft served in every WW II combat
is best known for daylight strategic bombing of German industrial targets. Production
ended in May 1945 and totaled 12,726.
In March 1944 this B-17G was assigned to the 91st Bomb Group--"The Ragged
Irregulars"--and based at Bassingbourn, England. There it was named Shoo Shoo Baby by its crew, after a popular song. It flew 24 combat
missions in WW II, receiving flak damage seven times. Its first mission (Frankfurt,
Germany) was on March 24, 1944, and last mission (Posen, Poland) on May 29, 1944, when
engine problems forced a landing in neutral Sweden where the airplane and crew were
interned. In 1968, Shoo Shoo Baby was found abandoned in France; the French government
presented the airplane to the USAF. In July 1978, the 512th Military Airlift Wing moved it
to Dover AFB, Delaware, for restoration by the volunteers of the 512th Antique Restoration
Group. The massive 10-year job of restoration to flying condition was completed in 1988
and the aircraft was flown to the Museum in October 1988.
SPECIFICATIONS Span: 103 ft. 10 in. Length: 74 ft. 4 in. Height: 19 ft. 1 in. Weight: 55,000 lbs. loaded Armament: Thirteen .50-cal. machine guns with normal bomb load of 6,000 lbs. Engines: Four Wright "Cyclone" R-1820s of 1,200 hp. ea. Cost: $276,000 Serial Number: 42-32076
PERFORMANCE Maximum speed: 300 mph. Cruising speed: 170 mph. Range: 1,850 miles Service Ceiling: 35,000 ft.
B 24 -LIBERATOR
The B-24 was employed in operations in every combat theater during the war. Because of
its great range, it was particularly suited for such missions as the famous raid from
North Africa against the oil industry at Ploesti, Rumania on August 1, 1943.
This feature also made the airplane suitable for long over-water missions in the Pacific
Theater. More than 18,000 Liberators were produced.
The B-24D on display flew combat missions from North Africa in 1943-44 with the 512th
Bomb Squadron. It was flown to the U.S. Air Force Museum in
May 1959. It is the same type airplane as the Lady Be Good, the world-famous B-24D which
disappeared on a mission from North Africa in April 1943 and which was found in the Libyan
Desert in May 1959.
SPECIFICATIONS Span: 110 ft. 0 in. Length: 66 ft. 4 in. Height: 17 ft. 11 in. Weight: 56,000 lbs. loaded Armament: Ten .50-cal. machine guns and 8,000 lbs. of bombs Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney R-1830s of 1,200 hp. ea. Cost: $336,000 Serial Number: 42-72843
PERFORMANCE Maximum speed: 303 mph. Cruising speed: 175 mph. Range: 2,850 mph. Service Ceiling: 28,000 ft.
NORTH AMERICAN B-25B
The B-25 medium bomber was one of America's most famous airplanes of WW II. It was the type used by General Doolittle for the Tokyo Raid on April
18, 1942. Subsequently, it saw duty in every combat area being flown by the Dutch,
British, Chinese, Russians and Australians in addition to our own U.S.
forces. Although the airplane was originally intended for level bombing from medium
altitudes, it was used extensively in the Pacific area for bombing Japanese airfields from
treetop level and for strafing and skip bombing enemy shipping.
More than 9,800 B-25s were built during WW II. The airplane on display was rebuilt by
North American to the configuration of the B-25B used on the Tokyo Raid and was flown to
the Air Force Museum in April 1958.
SPECIFICATIONS Span: 67 ft. 7 in. Length: 52 ft. 11 in. Height: 15 ft. 9 in. Weight: 28,460 lbs. loaded Armament: Five .50-cal. machine guns; 5,000 lbs. of bombs Engine: Two Wright R-2600s of 1,700 hp. ea. Cost: $96,000 Serial Number: 43-3374 (B-25D) Displayed as (S/N): 40-2344 (B-25B)
PERFORMANCE Maximum speed: 275 mph. Cruising speed: 230 mph. Range: 1,200 miles Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft.
MARTIN B-26G MARAUDER
Although the Marauder did not make its first flight until November 25, 1940, its design
showed such promise that 1,131 B-26s were ordered by the Air Corps in September 1940. The
airplane began flying combat missions in the Southwest Pacific in the spring of 1942, but most of the B-26s subsequently assigned to operational
theaters were sent to England and the Mediterranean area.
Bombing from medium altitudes of 10,000 to 15,000 feet, the Marauder had the lowest
loss rate of any Allied bomber--less than one-half of one percent. By the end of WW II, it
had flown more than 110,000 sorties and had dropped
150,000 tons of bombs, and had been used in combat by British, Free French, Australian,
South African and Canadian forces in addition to U.S. units. In 1945 when B-26 production
was halted, 5,266 had been built.
The Marauder on display was flown in combat by the Free French during the final months
of WW II. It was obtained from the French airline Air France training school near Paris in
SPECIFICATIONS Span: 71 ft. 0 in. Length: 58 ft. 6 in. Height: 20 ft. 3 in. Weight: 37,000 lbs. loaded Armament: Eleven .50-cal. machine guns; 4,000 lbs. of bombs Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800s of 2,000 hp. ea. Cost: $227,000 Serial Number: 43-34581 Displayed as (S/N): 42-95857
PERFORMANCE Maximum speed: 285 mph. Cruising speed: 190 mph. Range: 1,100 miles Service Ceiling: 19,800 ft.
The Boeing B-29 was designed in 1940 as an eventual replacement for the B-17 and B-24.
The first one built made its maiden flight on September 21, 1942. In
December 1943 it was decided not to use the B-29 in the European Theater, thereby
permitting the airplane to be sent to the Pacific area where its great range made it
particularly suited for the long over-water flight required to attack the Japanese
homeland from bases in China. During the last two months of 1944, B-29s began operating
against Japan from the islands of Saipan, Guam and Tinian.
With the advent of the conflict in Korea in June 1950, the B-29 was once again thrust
into battle. For the next several years it was effectively used for attacking targets in
The B-29 on display, named "Bockscar," was flown to the U.S. Air Force Museum
on September 26, 1961. It is the airplane from which the second atomic bomb was dropped on
Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.
SPECIFICATIONS Span: 141 ft. 3 in. Length: 99 ft. 0 in. Height: 27 ft. 9 in. Weight: 133,500 lbs. max. Armament: Eight .50-cal. machine guns in remote controlled turrets plus two
.50-cal. machine guns and one 20mm cannon in tail; 20,000 lbs. of bombs Engines: Four Wright R-3350s of 2,200 hp. ea. Cost: $639,000 Serial Number: 44-27297
PERFORMANCE Maximum speed: 357 mph. Cruising speed: 220 mph. Range: 3,700 miles Service Ceiling: 33,600 ft.