|Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress at the Morgantown Municipal Airport. |
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress or the so called "Sentimental Journey” is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC). The B-17 aircraft was manufactured by Boeing. It has eliminated its competitors and has met the Air Corps' expectations to compete against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 airplanes. The Air Corps was impressed with the B-17s' even though Boeing had lost the contract due to the prototype's crash. This became the reason for the U.S. Army Air Corps to order 13 B-17s. The B-17 Flying Fortress was chosen as the first truly mass-produced large aircraft that participated in full-scale production. The aircraft has then evolved into various design upgrades which started from B-17A to G.
On March 13, 1945, the B-17 Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey" was accepted by the U.S. Army Air Corps. The aircraft was produced too late to provide service for the European war. Therefore, it was assigned to the Pacific theater until the end of the war. The aircraft was removed from safety in Japan and was assigned to be a photo-mapping airplane in Clark Field, Manila. The aircraft has flown to all areas of the Pacific for almost three years during the development of the RB-17G.