WWII Training: How To Start The B-17 Engine
U.S. Library Of Congress / Public Domain
While perusing the internet we stumbled upon a real gem of a video. It the real instructional video from World War II that new pilots watched before stepping into a B-17. Known as a very difficult aircraft to fly, this 6-minute tutorial shows you all the necessary steps you need to take to simply start up the engines.
The B-17 Flying Fortress
B-17s are arguably the most iconic bombers of World War II. Not to detract from other aircraft like Liberators, Mitchells, and the U.K’s iconic Lancasters, but B-17s were produced from 1936 up until the end of the war and dropped almost half of the total bombs that landed in Nazi Germany.
They also had a very good track record of bringing their crews home. Pictures such as the one below were quite common with bomber crews swearing by the ruggedness of the aircraft.
Wright R-1820 Cyclone
The later variants of the Flying Fortresses were powered by four R-1820 Cyclone engines. Radials as they were popular back then, these bad boys put out around 1,000 hp depending on the variant of the engine.
Although B-17s used these engines more than any other aircraft, they were also used on Douglas airlines in the DC series, Navy’s SBD Dauntless and even the Piasecki H-21 helicopter.