Boeing B-17F Red Gremlin Mahogany Model

$ 159.95

Introducing the ready-to-ship B-17F 'Red Gremlin' mahogany model. This 1/60 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 19.9 inches and a length of 14.3 inches. This model features a very accurate paint scheme with realistic panel lines. This collectible B-17 model represents the Boeing B-17F Red Gremlin, the B-17 flown by Maj. Paul Tibbets –who later flew the B-29 Enola Gay to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima – on the majority of his missions over Europe. Painstakingly built from Philippine mahogany by our skilled craftsmen with a wealth of detail, this 1/60-scale model B-17 makes a great pilot gift, or a great present 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 Boeing B-17:

The B-17 was not the fastest, highest-flying bomber of World War II, not did it carry the largest 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, as fast as many 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. However, 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 first B-17s to see combat was the B-17C, with each design iteration adding more power or weaponry. The final version, the B-17G included a chin turret to help defend against head-on attacks, an area in which the bombers were especially vulnerable. The B-17 was 74 feet long, with a wingspan of 103 feet, and was powered by four Wright R-1820 cyclone engines of 1,200 horsepower each. Top speed was 287 mph, with a maximum range of 2,000 miles with a 6,000-lb. bomb load. Later models of the B-17 bristled with .50-caliber machine guns, several in powered turrets.

By war’s end, the B-17 was obsolete, with the B-29 Superfortress supplanting it as the nation’s top-of-the-line bomber. Thousands were scrapped, but others flew on as drones, drone controllers and rescue craft, as well as in other support roles. The last operational B-17 mission by the U.S. Air Force was flown on Aug. 6, 1959, when a B-17 controlled a drone B-17 as a target for an air-to-air missile test. Red Gremlin was not piloted by Tibbets on the first mission over Europe, but he did fly the majority of his European missions in this aircraft. During planning for Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa, Tibbets was tapped to fly Generals Dwight Eisenhower and Mark Clark to Gibralter and Algiers. During these flights, Eisenhower – the future president of the United States – sat on a 2x4 board between Tibbets and his co-pilot. Theodore Van Kirk, navigator, and Thomas Ferebee, bombardier, would later join Tibbets in the 509th Composite Group on the crew of the Enola Gay.

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