Piaggio P-108 vs. Boeing B-17 -- Heavy Bomber Comparison

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Staff Sergeant
Feb 23, 2005
Let me start off by saying that while like many, I know a fair amount about the B-17, I know very little about the P-108.

How do these two aircraft compare against each other as heavy bombers?
what whas the P.108's dammage tollerance like?? what was it's construction?? how reliable was she?? did she suffer any major problems?? what was her MTOW?? what were her engines rated at???
I dont know what its damage tolerance or construction was like, its bloody hard finding information on it you know...

Engines? 4 x 1350hp Piaggio radial engines..

As far as I know it was reliable...

The only major problem was that the controls were a little difficult to get to grips with...

And what the hell is MTOW?
maximum take off weight..........

and i think you need to know how damage tollerent it is before you can make a claim like you are..............
Maximum take-off weight was 29,885Kg, which I think is about 70,000lbs...

Dude damage tolerance is going to be extremely hard to find, with only 163 being made it didnt see a lot of service...

It was also a night bomber in case you wanted to know...
cheddar cheese,

Do you have some stats indicating that the P-108 was more advanced, could carry a bigger payload further, was faster and just as well armed? I always thought the B-17 was better armed.
from the net, http://www.comandosupremo.com/P108.html (as a starting point)

The Piaggio P.108 B was the only heavy four-engine bomber to see service with the Regia Aeronautica during World War Two. Too few were built to play a significant role in the war, only 163 P.108 Bs having been built. The P.108 B was an all-metal cantilever low-wing monoplane with an retractable under-carriage, driven by four 1,350 hp Piaggio P.XII radial engines. The first prototype was finished in 10/39 and had a very advanced defensive armament for its day of two 7.7 mm machine waist guns, a 12.7 mm machine gun in the lower turret and a similar weapon in the nose turret, and two remotely-controlled twin gun turrets in outer engine nacelles. The first Allied bomber with a similar armament was the Boeing B 29, developed four years later. The bomb load of the Piaggio comprised of 7,700 lbs, all carried internally in the bomb bay.

The only unit of the Regia Aeronautica ever to fly the P.108 B was the 274th Long-Range Bombardment Group. This unit was formed in 5/41 around the first machines that came off the assembly lines. The training of the crews lasted far longer than anticipated and in 6/42 the 274th became operational. The most spectacular raids with the P. 108 B were flown in 10/42 when several night attacks against Gibraltar were undertaken from Sardinia. Several versions were derived from the P. 108 B: such as the P.108A, which had a 102 mm anti-shipping gun in the nose; the P.108C airliner and the P.108T transport. The latter two versions had a larger diameter fuselage for transporting passengers or freight. They were hardly used by the Regia Aeronautica, the main user being the German Luftwaffe. In 9/43, after the Italian armistice, the Luftwaffe had captured all fifteen P.108 Cs and P.108 Ts built. They were used at the Russian front, as part of Luftflotte 2, where they performed sterling duties, among others during the evacuation of the Crimea in 1944.

Article by JDG

Model Piaggio P 108
Horsepower 1350 x 4
Engine Piaggio P.IIX RC 35
Max Speed 420 km at 3,900 m
Range 3,520 Km
Max Elevation 8,050 m
Wingspan 32 m
Height 7.70m
Weight 17,320 Kg
Max Weight 29,885 Kg
Length 22.92m
Crew 6
Payload 3,500 Kg
Armament 6 x 12,7 mm + 1 x 12,7 mm + 2 x 7.7 mm
Below is information from Boeing's website regarding the B-17G:

Span: 103 feet 9 inches (B-17G)
Length: 74 feet 9 inches (B-17G)
Gross weight: 65,000 pounds (B-17G)
Top speed: 287 mph (B-17G)
Cruising speed: 150 mph (B-17G)
Range (max.): 3,750 miles (B-17G)
Ceiling: 35,600 feet (B-17G)
Power: Four 1,200-horsepower Wright R-1820-97 engines (B-17G)
Accommodation: 2 pilots, bombardier, radio-operator, 5 gunners (B-17G)
Armament: 11 to 13 machine guns, 9,600-pound bomb load (B-17G)
I thought they ordinarily carried more. At any rate, I think the maximum bomb payload was higher than the P-108. I understand that the B-17 could carry 17,000lb. payloads for short distances. Also, the armament appears to have been much heavier.
Yes, it could carry a heavier load, but the P.108 could carry a heavier load further. It could also carry 3 torpedos.

It may have heavier armament, but It is stil fairly primative. If you look at the P.108, you will notice it has remote gun turrets, rather like that of the B-29 - and we're talking 5 years earlier and by a country with not nearly as many resources.
how do resorces count towards a turret design?? and do you know they worked?? they could have been useless, not much ammo and prone to damage..............
A wile back I did see a site that said that the only real problem was that the controls were a little difficult to get to grips with...If any of the things you mentioned were a problem then I think they would also have been listed...

Users who are viewing this thread