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Thread: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

  1. #1
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    Default Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    This past summer I was at a small airshow which had both the B-17 and the B-24. While talking with the co-pilot, he informed me that the B-24 had a bigger bombload than B-17, but airmen preferred the B-17 because it could withstand more damage. If you were the Air Corps General, which would you prefer?
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    Default Re: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    More B24's were built iirc and they were also more flexible in capabilities as they fulfilled more roles.

    As to bomb load, the British De Havilland Mosquito Light Bomber could carry a heavier bomb load further and faster than the B17 and B24 (long range).

    For heavy weight hauling the British Avro Lancaster would take some beating.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
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    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    I've read that the B-24 wasn't as easily flown as the B-17.

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    Default Re: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    I've read that B-17 pilots had a saying, to paraphrase: "who needs escort fighters when you have B-24's on the mission?"

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    Default Re: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    More B24's were built iirc and they were also more flexible in capabilities as they fulfilled more roles.

    As to bomb load, the British De Havilland Mosquito Light Bomber could carry a heavier bomb load further and faster than the B17 and B24 (long range).

    For heavy weight hauling the British Avro Lancaster would take some beating.
    A myth, in fact B-17's carry loads of mixed ordnance whereas the Mosquito was limited to two "heavies" at that load, which was essentially useless for area bombing. The B-17 still had a larger bomb-load realistically.

    BTW, I love the Mosquito, but it was not the super bomber many want it to have been...

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    Default Re: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    Was at the bg Imperial War Museum at Duxford recently. The American Aircraft section is currently closed--and that's what it says on the website--but if you go, you will find they they distributed most of the planes, including most of the best (SR-71, B-29), around the rest of the museum.

    Anyhow, the tour guide said that the B-24 was more advanced than the B-17 and was better in most measurable respects (bigger bomb load, flies higher, greater range, etc.) but apparently due to its high wing configuration, it was harder to fly in tight formation (which was the USAF style). And thus the pilots preferred the Fortress.

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    Default Re: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spit109 View Post
    Was at the bg Imperial War Museum at Duxford recently. The American Aircraft section is currently closed--and that's what it says on the website--but if you go, you will find they they distributed most of the planes, including most of the best (SR-71, B-29), around the rest of the museum.

    Anyhow, the tour guide said that the B-24 was more advanced than the B-17 and was better in most measurable respects (bigger bomb load, flies higher, greater range, etc.) but apparently due to its high wing configuration, it was harder to fly in tight formation (which was the USAF style). And thus the pilots preferred the Fortress.
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    Default Re: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    If I was a pilot given the option between the 2 bombers, I would prefer the B-17 I feel a bit safer because of the punishment it could take, also the perk of controlling it would be much nicer.

    Life is short... We should then cherish every sec of it.

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    Default Re: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    from wiki : unit cost in 1945 : B17 238000USD B24:297000 USD.
    almost 5 B17 for 4 B24...
    That is also input for the Air Corps.


    And to give it here a different twist:
    Anyone can explain the almost 20% difference in costs ? Was Boeing then already much more productive/efficient than Consolidated ? assuming similar amounts of material used..

    Meaning; was it the lay out of the Boeing factories and organisation of sub suppliers that did this trick, or was it the plane itself B17 that was more efficient to be built than the B24 ?
    Last edited by Frankly Dude Really; 06-10-2015 at 10:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Which is better, the B-17 or the B-24?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spit109 View Post
    Was at the bg Imperial War Museum at Duxford recently. The American Aircraft section is currently closed--and that's what it says on the website--but if you go, you will find they they distributed most of the planes, including most of the best (SR-71, B-29), around the rest of the museum.

    Anyhow, the tour guide said that the B-24 was more advanced than the B-17 and was better in most measurable respects (bigger bomb load, flies higher, greater range, etc.) but apparently due to its high wing configuration, it was harder to fly in tight formation (which was the USAF style). And thus the pilots preferred the Fortress.
    You're tour guide was a dolt. The B-24 certainly did not fly higher than the B-17 and would draw Luftwaffe fighters down to them in mixed raids hence my previous comments...

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