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B-17 Reference Information

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would these have been NMF or OD/Grey?

I need a copy of that book it would seem.

Give me some time this evening, filed away somewhere i have a list of all the Fortresses used by the two sqn's at RAF Oulton that gives their RAF serials and corresponding AAF identitys.

If we know the latter and which contractor it was built by we can make a educated guess as to if the plane was originally OD or BMF

One of the joys of living in my part of the world is during the war the whole region was one big airbase....which is great for folks like me who seem to do more research into subjects than actual building of models!

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Give me some time this evening, filed away somewhere i have a list of all the Fortresses used by the two sqn's at RAF Oulton that gives their RAF serials and corresponding AAF identitys.

If we know the latter and which contractor it was built by we can make a educated guess as to if the plane was originally OD or BMF

One of the joys of living in my part of the world is during the war the whole region was one big airbase....which is great for folks like me who seem to do more research into subjects than actual building of models!

Thanks Mungo!

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Ok Shawn,

This is the Fortress III (B-17G) list,i can't find the list covering the handful of late B-17F's.

G-40-BO F Tail unstagged barred waist

42-97100/HB763 BU-T

42-97102/HB765 BU-B

42-97104/HB767 BU-A

42-97109/HB772 BU-Q

42-97111/HB774 BU-G

42-97116/HB779 BU-K/L

42-97117/HB780 BU-C

-------------------------

G-50-BO F Tail Staggered barred waist

42-102436/HB785 BU-A

42-102438/HB787 BU-S

42-102439/HB788 BU-B

-------------------------

G-60-BO F Tail staggered waist

42-102940/HB789 BU-Q

42-102941/HB790 BU-?

TBC

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Cont:

G-40-VE F Tail or Vega Mod F Stag waist

42-98023/HB793 BU-S

42-98025/HB795 BU-N

42-98026/HB796 BU-T

42-98029/HB799 BU-K/L

42-98030/HB800 BU-V

42-98031/HB801 BU-U/T

42-98032/HB802 BU-C

42-98033/HB803 BU-L

42-98035/HB805 BU-C

------------------------

G-45-VE F Tail or Vega Mod F Stag waist

44-8082/HB815 BU-J

44-8083/HB816 BU-F

44-8084/HB817 BU-G

44-8085/HB818 BU-M

44-8086/HB819 BU-V

44-8087/HB820 BU-P

-------------------------

G-55-VE Cheyenne Stag

44-8241/KH999 BU-M

44-8243/KH101 BU-H

TBC

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G-60-VE Cheyenne Stag

44-8336/KJ103 BU-M

44-8337/KJ104 BU-D

44-8339/KJ106 BU-G

44-8340/KJ107 BU-N

44-8342/KJ109 BU-V

44-8343/KJ110 BU-B

-------------------------

G-70-VE Cheyenne Stag

44-8534/KJ111 BU-C

44-8535/KJ112 BU-P

44-8537/KJ114 BU-B

-------------------------

G-75-VE Cheyenne Stag

44-8622/KJ119 BU-O

44-8625/KJ122 BU-D

44-8628/KJ125 BU-J

-----------------------

Aircraft used post war until spring '46. Standard scheme, light grey codes,unarmed

44-8242/KJ100 U3-A

44-8244/KJ102 U3-B

44-8338/KJ105 U3-C

44-8538/KJ115 U3-G

44-8619/KJ116 U3-F

44-8620/KJ117 U3-E

44-8621/KJ118 U3-?

44-8623/KJ120 U3-D

Edited by mungo1974

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Thats it for 214 Sqn @ Oulton.

If anyone wants the B-17F's or the 223 Sqn a/c before they became a all Liberator unit...i'll find the other lists.

cheers,

Gary

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Gary that is fantastic! Thank you so so much!

I "think" this is the bird Im building:

42-98031/HB801 BU-U/T

But I dont know what the "/T" designates.

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Gary that is fantastic! Thank you so so much!

I "think" this is the bird Im building:

42-98031/HB801 BU-U/T

But I dont know what the "/T" designates.

It just means at some point HB801 was coded both BU-U and BU-T.

These aircraft ID changes were most likely due to losses...its possible HB801 served with both sqn's at Oulton....originally being BU-T,then maybe transfering to 223sqn(i would have to find my other list to confirm)

When 223sqn became a all Liberator unit its remaining Forts returned to 214sqn were i presume it became BU-U.

Speaking of Liberators if we follow up this GB with a B-24/ PB4Y GB can we expect to see a 100 Group Libby too?

It would look great having both types flying in formation...even with the toilet brushes!

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It just means at some point HB801 was coded both BU-U and BU-T.

These aircraft ID changes were most likely due to losses...its possible HB801 served with both sqn's at Oulton....originally being BU-T,then maybe transfering to 223sqn(i would have to find my other list to confirm)

When 223sqn became a all Liberator unit its remaining Forts returned to 214sqn were i presume it became BU-U.

Speaking of Liberators if we follow up this GB with a B-24/ PB4Y GB can we expect to see a 100 Group Libby too?

It would look great having both types flying in formation...even with the toilet brushes!

well I do have all the parts to make a Libby as well!

Wish it were "BU-T"...makes me giggle

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I hope I'm not out of line posting this but here is some information I gathered on interior colors.

During the service life of the B17, from the 'E' to the 'G', there were many changes to equipment fit, internal coatings and other fittings. Some of these were added, then deleted later, whilst some remained constant. Also, some deleted items wer then added again, often due to combat experience at atlitude. For instance, the oxygen system, heating system and the associated clothing and equipment saw many, many changes and modifications, more than a few originating from a single individual within a Squadron.

Also, apart from factory and 'field' mods, there were main depots in the USA which carried out mods, later to become standard fit, as a result of requests or suggestions from the various Theatres of Operation. An example of these is the Air Depot at Cheyenne, where the modified tail gun position on the late 'G's' originated, and normally called the 'Cheyenne Turret'.

In the UK, for the B17's with the 8th AF, (and other types, including 9th AF)there were two main depots for assembly, deep service, major battle damage repair, reclamation/salvage and modification. The main one was Base Air Depot 1, at Burtonwood, between Manchester and Liverpool, which became, at one time, the biggest airfield in the World. It closed, under USAF 'rule', in the early 1960's, although there was a main US Army stores there, on a huge site, but small in comparison to the once massive airfield, until just about ten years ago.

Anyway, all this led to many variations in 'standard' fit, and a lot of writers, and modellers, base some of their information on what they have seen of one or two examples, and not just on the B17, and take these as solid fact. Particulary so of part restored aircraft.

By the time the B17 G came into service, there were vast changes to the fittings and equipment, including the internal finish, most of which were either improvements, simplifications, or getting rid of uneccessarily complicated, time consuming, costly or heavy items etc. When the 'G' reached it's final wartime versions, the differences between those aircraft and the first production block 'G's' were immense, and this might give some idea of the 'evolution' of the basic design.

To further illustrate the immense production numbers, and therefore the detail changes, the B17G was produced in over 60 production blocks, at three main plants, with other sub-assembly/component factories. These plants were the Boeing (Seattle) plant, Lockheed Vega, and Douglas. Aircraft from these sources all differed in some details, however small, and this had an effect on paints and coatings in particular.

The B17 F was also produced at these three main plants, in approximately 56 production blocks!

The B17 E, however, was only produced by Boeing themselves - in two production blocks!!

The 'E', being the extensively re-modelled, first version after the already obsolete, and unsuitable (for ETO at least) 'C', was very much a 'luxury' aircraft in it's internal appointments and fittings. As has been mentioned, the majority of the internal walls were clad in padded material, with the exceptiion of the bomb bay and the rear (waist) fuselage.

Originally, these areas were in clear laqured bare aluminium - but not for long. The climate and operating conditions, paricularly over Europe, and specifically in the damp climate of Britain, led to these bare areas having a protective coating.

Now, there is much debate about the type, and colours, of these 'paints'. To simplify things, and I must ask you to pay particular attention to this section, the original coating was, actually, Zinc Chromate. Now there has been, and will continue to be, much discussion, and, frankly, a load of bollocks talked about this 'colour' ! Zinc Chromate was a protective, primer coating, designed to not only do the job of a basic paint, but more importantly to protect against corrosion from the elements, and bi-metal reaction corrosion, caused, for example, where two differing metals meet; in this case, mostly steel, and various aluminium alloy grades. Without this coating, where alloy meets steel, or other metals, the alloy will start to oxidise into a greyish powder, causing all sorts of potential problems, not to mention failure of the panel or component.

This Zinc Chromate was originally 'made up' to a specification, at the factories, and was eventually supplied as a ready-mixed 'paint'. Like any metal-etch primer, it was designed to bond with the top surface of the metal, literally etching slightly into the surface, thereby enabling a strong bond and good surface protection. I won't bore you with the ingredient mix, but suffice to say, Zinc Chromate was a green shade, with a hint of yellow. Any variation in the mix, could, and would, lead to differences in shades, and it is these diferences which have led, over the years, to various theoies about different colours!

The Yellow Zinc Chromate sometimes referred to didn't exist before the late 1950's!

What has been seen though, is a slightly different mix, where the green looks more yellow. This effect can be enhanced by the tones in colour photography of the period, the lighting, exposure etc etc.

At the time of the B17E however, the tones would NOT have exhibited yellow. Most claims about E's being 'yellow' are based on miscaptioned photos, or being misinformed, and are mainly based on the 'F' model, and colour drawings/diagrams, mostly produced by Boeing illustrators!

In later times, once the 'F' came into service, the 'luxury' rose a notch, inasmuch as the Zinc Chromate in crew positions, would also receive a thin coat of clear laquer, or a similar green paint, mainly to prevent wear and tear from the occupants, and also to make these areas more comfortable on the eye. Areas such as the bomb bay, originally in laquered bare metal, retained the ZC, needed to prevent corrosion and other damage.

Cutting a very long story short, after the era of the 'E', and generally throughout the American aircraft industry, the use of Zinc Chromate as a primer in crew areas was discontinued, the replacement being the colour which came to be known as Interior Green.

This colour was actually a similar colour to the ZC, but with the Chromate and Aluminium powder omitted. Originally mixed on site, there could be many variations in shade. Eventually, the paint was factory produced mainly, but, with a number of plants producing the paint, and differing storage times and conditions, allied to application methods, variations in tone could still be seen!

The othe colour used was Bronze Green, and this was normally for weight-bearing structures, such as brackets, seat frames and other separate components etc. The Interior Green was mainly a 'coverall' panel colour. So, in general terms, if it was airframe, it was IG, if it was component, mainly BG.

But, a further complication which leads authors and modellers astray is, most of these changes weren't implimented until part way through the 'F' production runs! And by the time of the mid to late production 'G' model, unneccessary interior coatings were abandoned, to save time and weight! Not a lot of point in taking up production time, materials, and adding weight to a machine with a life expectancy measured in weeks - if it's lucky!!

So, without going into many pages, the early 'E' models sometimes had bare metal areas, later painted in Zinc Chromate, the same colour, more or less, as Inteior Green, unless viewed closely, and the fittings were either 'real' IG, or BG, both of which had a different 'sheen', and were smoother, than ZC. The crew areas mentioned in my previous messages were clad in the padded material, and the seats were bigger, higher and had cushions. Floors, depending on area, were either painted metal, or clear laqured plywood - non-slip coatings were much later.

And a final note on the two colours, Bronze Green and Interior Green.

Both of these could be seen in various shades. Most modellers use an Interior Green shade which is far too bright and 'green'. The one on Bemay's B25 in the Heavy Hitters thread is far too garish for this scale, and way over the top if it was 1/72nd scale. Allowing for variations in shade, it should be more of a dullish, apple green, not too dark, but not as bright as the model quoted. Bronze Green is more of a RAF Dark Green, with a very small touch of black and brown. It's not far off a lightened 'new' Olive Drab , but looks different due to it being semi-matt, as is IG. Both of these colours I normally mix myself to suit the model, and many modellers seem to use commercailly availbel IG, if that's what it is, straight out of the tin/bottle. No problem using it as the base, but just adjust as required, using additions of green, yellow, and/or browns

I hope this helps

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I'm thinking they were either OD or perhaps a light tan (which would look yellowish) The Belts I also believe to be tan. It probably varied by manufacturer and time period as well as most parts and painting guides did.

Thanks for the answer, but I'm looking at the pics posted in another thread here Click if you dare and the back pads and seat cushions are yellow; I notice the new Eduard pre-painted detail set for the Revell B-17G has the same thing. Are they flatation cushions or something? Additionally, Dana Bell mentioned that the B-26 at the NASM "Flak Bait" had the same thing, so it doesn't appear to be just a B-17 thing.

Jake

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Thanks for the answer, but I'm looking at the pics posted in another thread here Click if you dare and the back pads and seat cushions are yellow; I notice the new Eduard pre-painted detail set for the Revell B-17G has the same thing. Are they flatation cushions or something? Additionally, Dana Bell mentioned that the B-26 at the NASM "Flak Bait" had the same thing, so it doesn't appear to be just a B-17 thing.

Jake

Those are in fact flotation devices but I don't think they were fitted with them during operations. I think they came with those and flew with them for their trips across the pond but afterwards I believe the crews probably removed them and just sat on the seat pads themselves. The great thing about B-17s, as even referenced above, is that there were so many modifications almost nothing you do can be considered "wrong". I'm sure there were maybe some crews who did fly missions with the life jackets especially if they were flying over any large body of water. And there were probably others who immediately threw things like that out the aircraft as it landed or during their flight there.

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Just to clear something up: There seems to be a bit of confusion about the navigators floor material. In the F, it was .051 aluminum (Boeing DWG 85-5781) and in the G it was 5/16 plywood (Boeing Dwg 12-839). HTH

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Thanks Karl.

Any insight into what we've been discussing as of late - the Pilot/Co-Pilot & Radio Operators seat cushions? Were they yellow? Or other colour?

Cheers,

Mark.

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The only thing that shows up in the mauals and drawings are the flotation type cushions. Could something else have been used, certainly. Some of the photos I have posted of the F nose interior show those cushions being used on the floor there. The few WWII photos I have seen that show the seats seem to have a light colored cushions, but if it is yellow, light brown, light OD, have no clue. A note on the radio operators seat: in the F it was an unpainted bucket (the pilots seat were painted). In the early G series, it the same as the navigators seat (referred to as "Posture Chair"). These were secured to the floor by a strap, believe it or not. (Later G's had the post mounted navigator's seat that we see in most restored A/C.) Then, for some reason, they went back to the bucket for the radio operator in late G's. And the spare seats in the radio room were removed from the F in combat and don't even appear in the manuals for the G.

These pictures show the cushions being used in the nose and the absence of the bombardiers seat. Doesn't help with the original question, but it does show the cushions were available.

b-17_interior-nose-2.jpg

Twinnoseguns.jpg

This picture shows the "Posture Chair" in a G:

1_51_1.jpg

Here is a later G with the bucket:

RadioroomCaptGlassplane.jpg

EDIT: I just looked at the Parts Catalog ond only the seat cushion is referred to as a flotation type ("Life preserver type A-1"). The back is just called "Cushion - Aircraft type A-3" and has an AN number. So that is probably a standard issue item and like most Army issue, probably OD.

Edited by 100th BG

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Karl,

Great info as always. When you mention early G, late and later G's... where would LMM, being a B-17G-35-VE fit in?

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Vega built up to Block 110, so I would call it early. There is very little precise info on the Vega and Douglas built aircraft, so I can only go by the Boeing birds and try to approximate the changes on the other aircraft. Not very exact and rather frustrating. We can get into a lot of speculation and can only do as best we can...

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Shawn,

I initially was going to collect the info at the end of this GB and make a master thread for all of it... about a few weeks ago we crossed a line where I said "uuummmmmm... theres to much"

I've definitely got a feeling we will be having people visit this GB LONG after it's over for the incredible amount of reference material contained within it.

Cheers,

Mark.

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I don't know if anyone is doing a PFF-equipped Fort for the GB, but would there be an interest in me posting reference info for the standard installation which replaced the ball turret?

I have plenty to hand if so.

(If I ever manage to pull my finger out and make a start on my Revell B-17G in time to enter the GB it'll be a certain 401BG PFF ship. :worship:)

All the best,

PB

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Righto, I'll make a start putting something together in the morning.

TTFN,

PB

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Another vote for heck yeah! You have a superb collection of photos, bring 'em on!

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Shawn,

I initially was going to collect the info at the end of this GB and make a master thread for all of it... about a few weeks ago we crossed a line where I said "uuummmmmm... theres to much"

I've definitely got a feeling we will be having people visit this GB LONG after it's over for the incredible amount of reference material contained within it.

Cheers,

Mark.

Mark,

I definitely will be using the thread, as I have an F-model to build. Plus the general information will be useful for the B, C & D models.

Jeff

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Shawn,

I initially was going to collect the info at the end of this GB and make a master thread for all of it... about a few weeks ago we crossed a line where I said "uuummmmmm... theres to much"

I've definitely got a feeling we will be having people visit this GB LONG after it's over for the incredible amount of reference material contained within it.

Cheers,

Mark.

I wasn't even going to build a B-17, But thats changed now - thanks to all of the contributers the project shall be moved WAY up on the list of "What I want to do now-I think."

So Thanks Again :)

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