The Haynes military aviation workshop manuals are building into a valuable source of information. Once again a new title in the series has been launched that provides an overview of an important aircraft type.
The author has centred his manual on two beautifully restored B-17s, the French operated “Pink Lady” and the “Mary Alice” based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford site in Britain. There is a wealth of information in this manual and some rare illustrations and photographs
NAME: B-17 Flying Fortress Owners' Workshop Manual
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
AUTHOR: Graeme Douglas
BINDING: Hard back
PRICE: GB £19.99
SUBJECT: WWII, bombers, multi engine, technology, air war, area bombing, strategic bombardment, daylight bombing, 8th Army Airforce, warbirds
DESCRIPTION: The Haynes military aviation workshop manuals are building into a valuable source of information. Once again a new title in the series has been launched that provides an overview of an important aircraft type. As an engineer's workshop manual, this book will not serve because it does not provide the level of detail necessary to keep a vintage aircraft flying, but it does provide an excellent insight. The now familiar approach has been taken, with a brief but adequate history of the aircraft model. It then moves into the restoration of survivors, an anatomy, owner's view, pilot's view, engineers' view and some useful appendices. This subject is the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress which was the backbone of the USAAF 8th Air Force campaign of daylight bombing in Europe during WWII. The Flying Fort would have been a poor description of the first B-17 bombers which were inadequately armed for operations in the heavily contested airspace over Europe. The first aircraft to arrive were rapidly up armoured and the B-17G was the model that truly deserved the title Flying Fort, bristling with fifty cal Browning machine guns. For a large multi engine warbird, a surprising number have survived, mainly now on static display, but with an increasing number being returned to flying condition. The author has included a list of flying and static display B-17s and some that have been stored pending restoration. The list may not be comprehensive because even a large airplane can survive unknown only to be uncovered at some future date. There are also a number of partial survivors that may yet see restoration in the form of original parts incorporated into what is really a replica. The author has centred his manual on two beautifully restored B-17s, the French operated "Pink Lady" and the "Mary Alice" based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford site in Britain. There is a wealth of information in this manual and some rare illustrations and photographs covering both the external and internal features of the Flying Fort. Keeping a B-17 flying requires a major team effort and Duxford is fortunate in also hosting the Sally B which has flown from the airfield for more than thirty years. By reading this manual it is possible to appreciate just how much effort goes into restoration and how much more is required to return a B-17 to flight and keep it flying. This is a book that deserves to sell strongly and will appeal to a wide readership.