Boeing B-17F Memphis Belle Mahogany Model

$ 159.95

Introducing the ready-built AB17MBTS Desktop Model. This 1/54 scale model was handmade with precision and accuracy to produce the finest model that will be the centerpiece of your collection for years to come. This model is a perfect gift for pilots and aviation enthusiasts alike. Not too big or too small, this model features a wingspan of 23 inches and a length of 16.5 inches. This model features a very accurate paint scheme with realistic panel lines. This collectible B-17 represents one of the iconic aircraft of World War II, Boeing’s Flying Fortress. This model B-17F shows the Memphis Belle, arguable the most famous aircraft of the war. One of the first aircraft to return home after flying 25 missions, the bomber was featured in William Wyler’s 1944 documentary “Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress.” Painstakingly built from Philippine mahogany by our skilled craftsmen with a wealth of detail, this 1/54-scale model B-17 makes a great gift for any aviation enthusiast or history buff.

About this Model:

Your model will be delivered exactly as shown in the photographs with the exact same paint scheme.  The stand shown in this photograph may vary or change with the model you receive. If you would like to change this model in any other way, please visit the Custom Model section of our website to commission a customized model to be built.  

History of the B-17 'Memphis Belle':

The B-17 was not the fastest, highest-flying bomber of World War II, not did it carry the biggest bomb load. What it could do, and proved it time after time, was take astonishing amounts of damage and return its crew home. While the Flying Fortress served in every theater of the war, it is the missions over Europe that brought the four-engine Boeing lasting fame. The history of the B-17 dates back to 1934, when the Army Air Corps began seeking a replacement for the twin-engine Martin B-10. Boeing developed a four-engine model based on the XB-15 and its Boeing 247 airliner. Competition for the contract came from the Douglas DB-1 and the Martin Model 146, both twin-engine designs. Boeing’s Model 299 showed dazzling performance for the time, flying from Seattle to Dayton, Ohio’s Wright Field at an average speed of 235 mph, comparable to fighters of the day. At Wright Field, Army officials set to determine the B-10’s replacement with a fly-off between the three contenders. On Oct. 30, 1935, Maj. Ployer Peter Hill, an Air Corps test pilot, along with Boeing test pilot Les Tower took off for an evaluation flight. However, a gust lock had been left on the aircraft, causing a crash on takeoff that killed Hill and Tower. The Model 299 did not complete the evaluation and Army officials ordered Douglas B-18 Bolos as the B-10’s replacement. Top Army officials were impressed with the Boeing’s performance, and ordered 13 YB-17s in 1936 for further evaluation. By November 1941, orders had totaled 155 aircraft, but production would soon accelerate. By war’s end, more than 12,000 B-17s would be produced.

The Memphis Belle, a B-17F, is perhaps the most famous B-17 in existence. Built in 1942, it entered military service on July 15, 1942 and assigned to the 91st Bomb Group. Commanded by Robert Morgan and named for Margaret Polk, his girlfriend, Memphis Belle deployed to England in October 1942. Morgan’s crew was assigned to the 324th Bomb Squadron and was based out of Bassingbourn, England. Its first mission came on Nov. 7, 1942, a run to Brest, France. Combat missions continued through May 13, 1943, when Belle flew her final combat mission, a sortie to Kiel piloted by Lt. C.L. Anderson. On June 8, 1943, the aircraft flew back to the United States with a crew selected from men who had flown combat in the ship. A 31-city bond tour brought the plane fame, but the film “Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress” made the ship a lasting icon of the war. Director William Wyler and crews filmed during a number of missions aboard Memphis Belle, film that was edited into a compelling documentary released in 1944. After the war, the plane spent decades on display in Memphis, most of the time exposed to the elements. Following on-again, off-again restoration efforts, the National Museum of the United States Air Force reclaimed Memphis Belle in 2004. The famous B-17 now sits in a restoration hangar at the museum, a star again waiting for a public debut.

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