From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Hunter FGA.9 PACK
B-17E Flying Fortress /Late
General characteristics
9 peopleCrew
30.775 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
11156 mCeiling
4 х Wright R-1820-65Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
515 km/hStructural
290 km/hGear
Defensive armament
12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun2 х Turret
400 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gunTurret
500 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun3 х Turret
1000 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
7.62 mm Browning machine gun2 х Turret
500 roundsAmmunition
1000 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
8 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombSetup 1
12 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombSetup 2
6 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bombSetup 3
2 x 2000 lb AN-M66A2 bombSetup 4
36000 Rp icon.pngResearch
140000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png13000 / 16354/7300 / 9183/2320 / 2918Repair
39000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
140000 Sl icon.pngExperts
590 Ge icon.pngAces
148 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
370 % Sl icon.png340 % Sl icon.png150 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the American heavy bomber B-17E/L. For other versions, see B-17 (Family).


GarageImage B-17EL.jpg

The B-17E Flying Fortress /Late is a rank III American bomber with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB), 5.0 (RB), and 5.7 (SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

The B-17 Flying Fortress has the sole purpose of being a high-altitude bomber targeting land fortifications, airfields and bases. Despite its impressive bomb capacity, it is not recommended to target moving ground units, such as tanks or armoured cars, especially when they are travelling in tight columns due to the inaccuracy of your bombs at high altitudes and the ability for the AI on the ground to perform evasive manoeuvres when bombs are falling onto their position. When you first spawn in a game using the B-17, it is best if you find a formation of friendly bombers to maximize your chances of survival.

Unlike the preceding variant of the B-17, the B-17E/Late sports the Sperry Ball turret on the belly of the aircraft, thus ensuring complete protection of the belly of the aircraft. However, it is important to note that you still have the main drawback as the preceding B-17E - the lack of nose defences. While you do have .30 calibre guns on the nose, it is relatively inadequate at the battle rating, and nearly worthless in an uptier. On the other hand, this model of the B-17 does have more armour than its predecessors.

General info

Flight performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 7,680 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 497 483 11156 36.9 37.9 5.7 5.6 600
Upgraded 523 510 35.1 36.0 8.7 7.2


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
515 290 400 400 249 ~2 ~1
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 330 < 310 < 270 > 300
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
6,180 m 4,000 hp 4,708 hp

Survivability and armour

  • 6.35 mm Steel plate behind nose gunner.
  • 6.35 mm Steel plates behind pilots.
  • 6.35 mm Steel plates behind dorsal gunners.
  • 6.35 mm Steel plates in front of beam gunners.
  • 6.35 mm Steel plates in front of tail gunner.
  • 38 mm Bulletproof glass in front of tail gunner.
  • 38 mm Bulletproof glass ball turret.


Suspended armament

The B-17E/L can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 8 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (4,000 lb total)
  • 12 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (6,000 lb total)
  • 6 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (6,000 lb total)
  • 2 x 2,000 lb AN-M66A2 bombs (4,000 lb total)

Defensive armament

The B-17E/L is defended by:

  • 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, front dorsal turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, ventral turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, tail turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
  • 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, rear dorsal turret (500 rpg)
  • 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, 2 x beam turret (400 rpg)
  • 2 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, nose turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)

Usage in battles

When using the B-17E/Late Flying Fortress, it is important to note that you are not invincible, but the B-17 is notorious for being able to take one serious punch and still get you home. However, at your battle rating, you aren't going to have too much room for error. Nonetheless, as mentioned earlier, you have minimal nose defences which leave the pilot and co-pilot dangerously exposed.

If you have the payload capability to destroy multiple bases, the first part to enhance your survival is one word: climb. You already start at the "Long Range Bombers" spawn, which is roughly at 4,500 meters (14,763 feet). A sustained climb can put you at nearly 5,500 meters (18,044 feet) in a matter of around a minute and a half. From there, maintain speed and a sustained climb to help put you out of reach of interceptors to buy you some time.

Do not try and bomb small targets such as pillboxes and moving armour. It is 1) Largely inaccurate due to the time it takes to reach the target from high altitude, and 2) not worth it as a whole, as moving armour columns can disperse after a bomb drop has been detected.

If you are under attack from enemy fighters/interceptors, Do not attempt to use evasive manoeuvres - you are mainly unmanoeuvrable to begin with and trying to pull evasive manoeuvres will bleed the speed, throw off your gunner's aim and possibly increase your chances of losing a vital control component.

Another method of reaching your targets is to side-climb / plotting a course that is furthest away from the action.

At your battle rating, it is very possible that you will be tiered, where almost any plane will tear you to shreds.

If the enemy is approaching directly towards you around 1 km, fire your turrets in the general direction of the enemy in small bursts, to get a feel for the aiming and to serve as warning shots.

German Aircraft When facing the Germans, especially at the higher battle ratings, you will be vulnerable to the "Minengeschoß" rounds, which will punch through your armour, and explode inside the aircraft. The most dangerous opponents are going to be the Fw-190 D and any of the Focke Wulf Ta-152s, mainly due to their heavy-hitting weaponry. In addition, you also are confronted by the Bf 109 K-4, which has a 30 mm cannon through the propeller hub, which can make short work of you with a number of well-placed hits.

Russian Aircraft When facing the Russians, you have to pay close attention to any plane bearing the prefix "Yak". You especially need to pay attention to the Yak-9P and the Yak-9UT, which have a mix of 20 mm cannons and a combination of either a 37 mm cannon or a 45 mm cannon. The sheer size of the cannons they wield can obliterate the B-17 with just one or two well-placed hits. Another aircraft to pay attention to is the La-11, which has three 23 mm cannons that can land serious damage if the hits are placed well.

British Aircraft While it is mainly uncommon to see one at high altitude, a Wyvern S4 has the capability to intercept you thanks to its extremely powerful engine. In addition, a Wyvern will cut you to shreds as a result of the four 20 mm Mk.V Hispano cannons. In addition, the Hornet will also have the capability to intercept you. Perhaps the biggest threats lie with the Griffon Spitfires, especially the Mk. 22 and Mk. 24 variants. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the Tempest fighters.

Japanese Aircraft The Ki-87 is probably the single greatest threat to you at mid-rank battles due to the hard-hitting weaponry and its turboprop engine. In addition, (unlikely as it could be), the J7W will obliterate your plane due to the four 30 mm cannons in the nose. If not taken care of quickly, later models of the A7M "Reppu" can dispatch you if they have a good enough aim.


Repeat after me and take the time to memorize the following text: "Do not tail a B-17," even if you are flying something as heavily armed as a Messerschmitt 410 or a later Focke Wulf 190 model. This just warrants either an engine fire, your aircraft being critically damaged, or even your pilot being knocked out. If you have the altitude advantage over a B-17, try to hit it from an angle, which can increase your chances of survival. The weakest point on a B-17E from a defensive standpoint is from the nose of the aircraft. This is due to only a .30 calibre machine gun defending the pilot and the co-pilot. If you do not have the capability to engage the B-17E from the nose, and you find yourself tailing a B-17E, aim for the wings of the bomber. This may allow you to set some of the fuel tanks on fire or even better yet shear one off.

For German planes, your minengeschoß rounds give you a slight advantage, given your shells' ability to explode inside the bomber causing more extensive damage to the control surfaces. If a B-17E is present in a Battle Rating 6.7 match, they pose a lesser threat than something like the B-17G, which has only .50 cals but try not to tail a B-17E, as they still can punch through you if the .50 Cals have the "Armored targets" belts.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Auto control available
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Combined Controllable
1 gear
Auto controlled


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Protective vest Turret 7 mm
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs (turret) LBC-17
III Wings repair Engine Turret 12 mm SBC-17
IV Cover New 12 mm MGs (turret) MBC-17

Pros and cons


  • Large bomb-load
  • Powerful air defence capabilities
  • Multiple engines can fly on one if necessary (but with a great loss in altitude and speed)
  • Rugged design allows for soaking up damage
  • Mostly unaffected by light machine gun fire, and to an extent, heavy machine guns
  • Good speed for a bomber of its peers
  • Multiple turrets covering almost all angles
  • Can quite often return to base with extensive damage
  • Pilot and co-pilot, if one of them is knocked out, you can still fly on
  • The original pivoting belly gun turret has been replaced with a Sperry Ball turret
  • Better .50 calibre rounds in the belts for its defensive guns compared to its predecessor, the B-17E


  • Very large target
  • Quite slow when compared to fighters, and will always be outrun in level flight
  • Nose is extremely vulnerable, the only armour on the front is the front bulkhead, covering only the pilot and copilot's torso
  • The front of the aircraft is only covered by 2 x 7.62 mm Browning machine guns, which have different coverage areas
  • Vulnerable to German "Minengeschoß" and > 20 mm gunfire
  • Engine fires are common
  • Very unmanoeuvrable and effectively a sitting duck as all fighters at equivalent BR will be able to catch up to it with ease
  • Wings are big and thus commonly torn off by gunfire, in addition to being loaded with all of the plane's fuel, making fires extremely common as soon as the shooting begins
  • Nose protection is extremely limited, try to avoid frontal attacks as much as possible
  • Previously mentioned Sperry Ball turret leaves the gunner much more exposed, and as such is easier to knock out


The B-17E Flying Fortress was an improved version of the B-17D and earlier B-17 variants. It featured a tail gunner's position and a rotating dorsal turret behind the cockpit; both turret had an armament of two .50 cal M2 Browning machine guns. Previously, the B-17 had a blind spot at the rear, where no gunners could fire. The tail gunner's position allowed protection from the rear. To fit the new tail gunner's position, the fuselage had to be up-sized. A larger, redesigned vertical stabilizer was also added to the tail. Additionally, the teardrop shaped sliding panels at the waist gunners' stations were replaced by rectangular windows. This increased visibility from those positions. On the first 1/5 of the production run, the B-17E was equipped with a ventral remote-controlled Bendix turret, similar to that on the B-25 Mitchell.

The later rest of the B-17E production run featured a Sperry ball turret at the ventral position. The Bendix had disappointing results, and so it was replaced by the Sperry manned ball turret instead. These B-17Es are called the B-17E/L in War Thunder, for B-17E Late.

The production of the B-17E amounted to 512 aircraft, which gave the B-17E the distinction of being the first Flying Fortress variant to be mass produced. The production was too much for the Boeing factories to keep up with, so Lockheed and Douglas also produced the B-17E. Douglas built a new factory for the production of the Flying Fortress, and Boeing built an additional factory just for the production of the B-17.

45 B-17E Flying Fortresses were transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1942. These were designated as the Fortress IIA, and they were used by the Coastal Command to carry out anti-submarine patrols.

In-game description

The legendary B-17 American heavy bombers were rightly called Flying Fortresses. This four-engined heavy bomber was an all-metal hero, an extremely durable aircraft that could return to the airfield with just one engine, riddled with bullets.

But the early models of the B-17 had a significant blind spot in the rear, so fighter support was required. To solve this problem, the B-17E was produced, and a turret with two 12.7mm machine guns was installed in the tail section of the aircraft. To do this, the fuselage size had to be increased. In addition, to improve control of the plane, the tail was broadened and a larger vertical fin was installed.

Although it lost some speed when compared to the B-17D, the new model fared favorably with its new protection and thus became the first truly mass-produced B-17. From September 5, 1941 to May 1942, 512 aircraft were made on the production line, before the development of the B-17F.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Boeing Aircraft
Fighters  P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
Bombers  B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE
Export  P-26A-34
Captured  ▅B-17E
  ▂Tu-4* · ␗Tu-4*
  *Unlicensed Reverse-Engineered B-29
Attack  AH-64A · AH-64D
Export / Licensed  AH-64A Peten · ▄WAH-64D · ▅AH-64DJP
See Also  Tupolev Design Bureau · Westland Helicopters · Fuji Heavy Industries

USA bombers
Dive  SB2U-2 · SB2U-3 · SBD-3 · SB2C-1c · SB2C-4
Torpedo  TBD-1 · PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5a Catalina · TBF-1C · BTD-1
Medium  B-10B · B-18A · B-34 · PV-2D · B-25J-1 · B-25J-20 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT
Heavy  B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN
Hydroplanes  OS2U-1 · OS2U-3 · PBM-3 "Mariner"