|This page is about the bomber B-17G (Israel). For other versions, see B-17 (Family).|
By 1948, B-17s were no longer in service with the USAF as bombers. And since the IAF was desperate to acquire any combat-worthy aircraft, they got their hands on 3 privately owned, unarmed units that were flown to Czechoslovakia and armed with 7.62 mm MGs, makeshift bomb sights and German bomb racks. The planes bombed several targets during their journey to Israel, and during the entire Arab-Israeli War of 1948, the 3 planes flew 200 sorties. After being used as radio transceivers during the Sinai War of 1956, they were finally fully decommissioned in 1958.
The B-17 was introduced along with the initial Israeli air tree in Update "Winged Lions". At its BR, it's vulnerable to almost any plane, but especially those with air spawns or good climb rates. Planes like the Ta 152H, F8F-1B, and Bf 109s are common threats thanks to their good armament and climb capabilities. Like all strategic bombers, the B-17 is capable of destroying an entire base, however once spawned pilots should try to climb to more than 6000 m to be safe at least until the base is destroyed. When facing enemy planes, the weakest position is the front. Thus, when a dangerous enemy plane is detected, pilots should give the rear of the plane to the enemy to make shots harder.
As a strategic bomber, the B-17G is slow, and can't manoeuvre at all. 2G turns may cause the wings to rip off the fuselage. The acceleration is also lacking, alongside the climb rate, compared to similar Soviet or German bombers. Engines tend to overheat when WEP is used for too long, but they can be ran in WEP for most of the time with the right throttle control.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 7,680 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 330||< 310||< 270||> 300|
Survivability and armour
- 6.35 mm Steel - Lower nose armour plate
- 6.35 mm Steel - Back of pilot and co-pilot's seats
- 6.35 mm Steel - Dorsal turret gunner protective plate
- 6.35 mm Steel - Radio operator protective plate
- 6.35 mm Steel - Beam gunner protective armour x 2
- 6.35 mm Steel - Tail gunner protective plate
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Ball turret
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Tail gunner rear window
Modifications and economy
This slow and lumbering heavy bomber relies entirely on its turrets for defence. Without it, the plane is target practice. Thus "Protective vests" should be the first unlock. Further survivability upgrades will make the fight easier, but do not think it will successfully face-off against enemy fighters. Upgrading the bomb payloads should be second priority. Performance modules can be considered the least necessary.
The B-17G (Israel) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 16 x 100/50 kg G.P. bombs (1,600 kg total)
- 8 x 250/50 kg G.P. bombs (2,000 kg total)
- 12 x 250/50 kg G.P. bombs (3,000 kg total)
- 6 x 500/50 kg G.P. bombs (3,000 kg total)
The best loadout of the B-17G for use against bases in ground RB and Sim is the 12 x 250/50 kg G.P. bombs. Since this offers enough bombs to destroy several bases that may already be damaged without having to commit too many bombs in a single base like may happen with the 6 x 500/50 kg G.P. bombs. However in ground RB this last loadout may be the best, since the bigger bombs offer less margin of error and compensate the lack of precision with more explosive range.
The B-17G (Israel) is defended by:
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, chin turret (400 rpg = 800 total)
- 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)
- 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, mid dorsal turret (500 rpg)
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, tail turret (575 rpg = 1,150 total)
- 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, 2 x beam turrets (600 rpg)
- 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, 2 x nose turrets (300 rpg)
The .50 cals on the B-17G may not be as effective as the 20 mm or 13 mm guns used in other bombers, but these guns can also be very good, since they have better range and most of the time better rate of fire. The best belt to use is the Universal belts, since this has the most amount of Armour Piercing Incendiary (AP-I) shots, that are very good at causing engine failure and have enough penetration to kill pilots with some lucky shots.
Usage in battles
When facing fighters and interceptors in Realistic Battles, it is best to use Omni-purpose or Armour-piercing/Ground Target ammunition belts for the 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns. These ammunition belts are effective at tearing through the engine block and hopefully resulting in an internal engine fire. You may be also able to knock out a pilot.
Specific enemies worth noting
B-17s are notoriously hard to kill when compared to similar Soviet and German bombers. However, with the B-17 the best defence is to evade your opponent altogether. Your worst enemies will be almost all fighters due to the high BR (Fw 190 D, Ta-152, BF-109 G-10/K-4, F8F-1B, Tempest, etc.). Most fighters will have 2 to 4 cannons which can still make short work of the B-17.
The weakest area of approach with the B-17G is the front. Only 1-2 MGs can be focused directly forward if a fighter head-ons you. The crew is also focused at the nose. If there is a fighter at your level, try to turn and expose the tail "barb". Diving may work as well. However, diving can put you into more danger as more fighters may swarm you.
When climbing to fight the B-17, you will most likely have a lower energy level depending on the plane you use. The F8F-1B, for example, has extremely good acceleration with WEP and can climb ridiculously quickly as well. If in a plane such as an F8F-1B, attempt to head on the B-17 as this is the weakest point. If the B-17 turns away, climb and chase the Flying Fortress at a higher altitude and then dive on it from an angle. Always avoid tailing a B-17, regardless of model. This just warrants a knocked-out pilot or fire.
Manual Engine Control
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Pros and cons
- Strong .50 cal gun placement to shoot down incoming fighters
- Can be equipped with more than enough bombs to take out a base even in full uptiers
- Wings can rip easily in manoeuvres
- Large size means a juicy target from higher-calibre shells
- Slower speed compared to equivalent German bombers
- Rear gunner susceptible to getting knocked out by incoming fire
The B-17G was the final combat model of the B-17 Flying Fortress. Produced from late 1943 until several months after the end of World War II, this variant included all successful improvements made to previous B-17 models. It carried a total of 13 machine guns for point-defense, including the new remote-controlled chin turret that greatly improved the B-17's ability to defend against head-on attacks. By the end of the B-17G's production run, a total of 8,680 units were manufactured - just over 2/3 of the total number of B-17s that had ever been built. The B-17G was instrumental in long-range daytime bombing over Nazi-occupied Europe, flying in massive formations often dozens or even hundreds of planes strong.
By 1948, three years after World War II, the B-17 had effectively been decommissioned as a mainstay bomber in favor of new intercontinental bombers like the B-29 Superfortress. Some units remained in service as reconnaissance craft or passenger transports for the new U.S. Air Force; while some other units made their way into private ownership, stripped of their combat armaments and converted to serve a variety of civilian uses.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF), established in 1948 following the creation of the State of Israel, had no real interest nor need for a four-engine strategic bomber. Though it was embroiled in a war with all of its neighbours, all potential targets were no more than a few hundred miles from the airfields - much more suitable for short/medium-range tactical bombers. Nevertheless, the IAF was desperate to purchase pretty much any combat-worthy aircraft it could get its hands on. In the United States, one agent working clandestinely on this task for the Israelis was Al Schwimmer, a flight engineer for TWA, who managed to locate four B-17Gs in private hands. The IAF provided him with the funds to purchase the planes, three of which had already been stripped of their armaments.
Three of the planes were flown from Miami to Puerto Rico, then to the Azores, and finally to Czechoslovakia. There, they were fitted with 7.62 mm M1919A4 Brownings machine guns in place of the missing 12.7 mm M2 Brownings. Makeshift bomb sights and German suspension bomb racks for 250 kg and 70 kg bombs installed. A fourth plane made several attempts to fly to the Azores through Canada, but the FBI had learned of the operation and alerted the Canadian authorities to prevent it from leaving.
As soon as the opportunity arose, the three refitted planes were ordered to fly from Czechoslovakia to Israel, bombing several enemy targets on their way home - including the palace of King Faruk in Cairo. During the Israeli War of Independence, the three planes flew over 200 sorties. They were initially escorted by fighter planes, but it quickly became evident that the Egyptians were reluctant to intercept them; after which the bombers flew without any escorts for the remainder of the war. They bombed targets in Egypt, the West Bank, and Syria.
The three IAF B-17Gs continued to serve until 1953, during which time the IAF managed to acquire original B-17G turrets and M2 Browning machine guns for them. In 1953 the planes were mothballed for a few years until being reactivated as airborne radio transceivers during the 1956 Sinai War. After the war they were immediately mothballed yet again, and were finally decommissioned in 1958. Following its experience with the B-17G, the IAF has never acquired any other four-engine bombers, instead completely switching over to ground-attack aircraft and later to multi-role fighters.
- Related development
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|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 · B-17G|
|Attack||AH-64A · AH-64D|
|Export / Licensed||AH-64A (GR) · ▃AH-64A Peten · AH-64A Peten · ▅AH-64DJP · ▄AH Mk.1 · AHS|
|See Also||Tupolev Design Bureau · Westland Helicopters · Fuji Heavy Industries|
|For Boeing-built ships, see Boeing Marine Branch|