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Boeing B-17 Variants

There were more than half a dozen major variants of the B-17, each of which featured innumerable minor changes from the previous model. It would be difficult, and tedious, to keep track of them all. This task is complicated by the non-trivial variations in artistic styles used to depict these aircraft.

YB-17 Y1B-17, first flown in July 1935, was used, with some modifications, until 1939. This plane revolutionized heavy bomber design.

B-17B B-17B, delivered in 1939, the gun turret was removed from the nose.

B-17C B-17C Flush windows in place of blister turrets and a bathtub ventral gun station distinguished the B-17C and B-17D, first produced in 1940 and 1941 respectively.

B-17E The completely redesigned B-17E appeared just before Pearl Harbor, featuring a vastly enlarged vertical stabilitzer, provided with a tail-gun post in a longer fuselage, with a Sperry ball turret under the fuselage, and another power turret on top.

B-17F A plexiglas nose and greater bomb capacity were features of the B-17F, which appeared in the spring of 1942.

B-17G The B-17G arrived in 1943, adding a chin turret operated by remote control and glass-enclosed gun positions on the sides of the fuselage.

One B-29A was modified to test various armament configurations. The modified aircraft was designated XB-29H.

Six B-29s of various models and blocks were modified by changing the engines to improved Pratt & Whitney R-3350-79 radial engines, improved Curtiss electric propellers and engine cowling with separate oil cooler air intakes ("Andy Gump" cowlings). One YB-29J, the Dreamboat and later Pacusan Dreamboat (originally a (T)B-29B), set several long distance flight records.

A pair of RB-29J (FB-29J before 1948) were converted B-29s modified for use in photo reconnaissance missions. The 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing used RB-29s beginning in January 1949 and moved to Yokota AB, Japan, in December 1950 in support of the Korean Conflict and attached to the 15th Air Force, Far East Air Forces.

KB-29K was the initial designation for the KB-29M. A cargo conversion designated CB-29K was assigned after the redesignation of the KB-29K. Only one CB-29K was modified.

B-29L was the initial designation for the B-29MR.



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