The Boeing B-17, nicknamed the “Flying Fortress”, is a four-engine heavy bomber. It was originally designed for a U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) competition in 1934, to find a modern replacement for the assorted Keystone biplane bombers.
The B-17 was primarily employed by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and was given the task of destroying enemy war facilities through precision strategic bombardment. The Flying Fortress quickly proved to be a strategic weapon for the U.S. as a potent, high-flying, long-range bomber that was able to not only defend itself but also return home regardless of substantial damage. The B-17 secured itself as an effective weapons system by dropping more bombs that any other U.S. aircraft during World War II.