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B-17 Flying Fortress Assembly Plants and Production Numbers

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was a four-engine heavy bomber that saw extensive action in World War II. The B-17 received the name "Flying Fortress" from a Seattle news reporter who commented on its defensive firepower, and quoted "It's a Flying Fortress".

The 5,000th B-17 rolls out of the assembly plant The 5,000th B-17 rolls out of the assembly plant

When Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, few B-17s were in service. But production lines quickly ramped up, and production of B-17E, B-17F and B-17G models were produced at fast rates.

Production ended in May 1945 and totaled 12,731.

They were built by Boeing in Seattle (BO), Douglas Aircraft Co. (DL) in Long Beach, CA and Vega Aircraft Corp. (VE) in Burbank, CA.

B-17 Flying Fortress Assembly Plant

B-17 Flying Fortress Assembly Plant

 

B-17 Flying Fortress Production Recap by Model and Assembly Plant

The table shown below represents a recap of B-17 Flying Fortress production by model, and by manufacturing plant:

B-17 Model
Boeing
Seattle (BO)
Douglas
Long Beach (DL)
Vega
Burbank (VE)
Production
Numbers
299, YB-17, B-17A
15
15
B-17B
39
39
B-17C
38
38
B-17D
42
42
B-17E
512
512
B-17F
2,300
605
500
3,405
B-17G
4,035
2,395
2,250
8,680
Total
6,981
3,000
2,750
12,731


Storage and Disposal of B-17 Flying Fortresses After World War II

Aerial view of military aircraft in storage in 1946 Aerial view of military aircraft in storage in 1946

Following the end of World War II, the B-17 was quickly phased out of use as a bomber and the Army Air Forces retired most of its fleet.

Flight crews ferried the bombers back across the Atlantic and Pacific to the United States

The majority of the planes were sold for scrap and melted down at disposal depots such as Kingman Army Air Field in Arizona.

... about B-17 storage in desert boneyards and scrapping after World War II.

 

Surviving B-17 Flying Fortresses

A total of 39 surviving B-17 airframes are located in the United States. Twelve B-17 are still airworthy today, two F models, and 10 B-17G models.

An additional 18 B-17s are on static display around the United States.

... and view a list of surviving B-17 aircraft, serial numbers, names, museum locations by city and state

B-17 Flying Fortress Model Evolution

YB-17A ... the Boeing B-17 Prototype

YB-17A ... the Boeing B-17 Prototype

B-17B Flying Fortress

Boeing B-17B Flying Fortress

B-17C Flying Fortress 404029

Boeing B-17C Flying Fortress

B-17D Flying Fortress

Boeing B-17D Flying Fortress

B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9061

B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9061

 

 

B-17F Flying Fortress S/N 42-30043

B-17F S/N 42-30043

B-17G Flying Fortress "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby"

B-17G Flying Fortress "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby"

B-17 Photo From the Louisiana History Museum

B-17 Flying Fortress in World War II
B-17 Flying Fortress in World War II