b17-B questions

Discussion in 'Technical' started by trysBennett2003, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. trysBennett2003

    trysBennett2003 New Member

    Jan 19, 2009
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    I'm doing some general research on the b17-B, (pretty much for fun, but also modeling purposes), and was wondering if anyone had some insight on two questions that have been bugging me.

    First question:

    Is there some sort of cover that goes over the horrizontal slot in the gun blisters?
    I've seen some photographs with this area open (which makes sense with how the gun traverses in the blister):
    Examples such as:
    (USAF Museum site)

    But I've also seen a few images where it appears there is a metal cover over the 'slot'. Example such as:


    Second question:

    Does anyone know how the dorsal gun position in the Radio Room worked?
    I've only found two photos of this area, one from a B17-B and one from a YB17-A.
    The YB17 \-A appears to have a larger blister similar to the waist positions, including the complex sliding mechanisim and mounting ring:
    Here's a photo of the inside of it:

    The photo of the B17-B, on the other hand, appears to have a much simpler mechanism:

    -- does anyone know if the dome slid latterly? I noticed the diagram mentions a 'turret lock', and I'm wondering if it indicates dome movement (similar to the waist blister). Secondly, is it known if the gun was flexible through the hole at the base of the center brace, or did the whole brace slide vertically (similar to the waist position). Does anyone have a better photo of this area (external or internal)?

    I've yet to find a really good and clear shot of the the radio-compartment blister (or of the tail-wheel canvas boot).
    I've looked through the detail&scale books, WarbirdTech, and several Squadron books, as well as 'The Internet'. All have excellent information on the Yb17\A, and the -C series on forward -- but very little on the -B !

    I'm fascinated with this model, as it appears that many of the 39 produced were uniquely modified throughout their service.
    A great example is this aircraft pictured on the USAF Museum site (and misidentified as a -D model on the website):
    060515-F-1234S-016 (1).jpg

    Pretty sure it's actually a -B that has been updated to -C configuration. Evidence is in the offset commander's blister and sheet metal outline of the original waist blisters. (Not a -D spec, as lacks cowl flaps). Yet... the outline of the ventral position seems to show that it still has the -B ventral blister!

    Yet another example of a -B is the 'Mary Jane' aircraft in 'Airforce' (1943). That one appears to be a -B (commander's blister offset, narrower turtledeck), but has the 'bathtub' found on -C\D models.

    Sorry for the long post -- many thanks for any help or insight folks can throw over!


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