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Bomber_Harris

Differences between a B-17F & B-17G

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Hi

I want to build a PB-1W (US Navy AEW B-17), and have got the Paragon Conversion set.

Now here comes the question. I know that the real PB-1W's were converted from the last B-17G's off the production line, part of this conversion was to remove the chin gun. So by removing the chin gun from a B-17G are you left with a B-17F?? and if so would it matter if I used either the B-17G or F kits that I have in my stash? Are there any other differences between the F & G models? To make a PB-1W I have to move the waist window, and change the rear gun so I am assuming any difference here between variants are irrelevant??

Ideally I would like to keep my G as it is, and use the F for the conversion.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks In advance.

Richard

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The cheek guns were different, the B-17F had perspex panels that were flush with the fuselage when the G had those weird extensions of the fuselage.

F's had 4 square windows on the roof of the Navigator and nose gunners position, the G had an astro dome or a hump where the astrodome should have been.

The chin gun also altered the shape of the G's nose.... theres probably more but this is a start

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Hi

I want to build a PB-1W (US Navy AEW B-17), and have got the Paragon Conversion set.

Now here comes the question. I know that the real PB-1W's were converted from the last B-17G's off the production line, part of this conversion was to remove the chin gun. So by removing the chin gun from a B-17G are you left with a B-17F?? and if so would it matter if I used either the B-17G or F kits that I have in my stash? Are there any other differences between the F & G models? To make a PB-1W I have to move the waist window, and change the rear gun so I am assuming any difference here between variants are irrelevant??

Ideally I would like to keep my G as it is, and use the F for the conversion.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks In advance.

Richard

Truth is there are many different sub-variants of F, and many different sub-variants of G. A very late F and a very early G are remarkably similar - in fact the final F models had the chin turret - but it's not that simple as time goes on as detail development continued throughout the war, and you have to consider which sub-variant of F is depicted by your F kit. As the PB-1W was converted from a very late G then there are many detail differences from the average F kit, which is not likely to represent a very late F. You would need the later Cheyenne tail turret, and other details like the cheek gun mount windows.

Best to build a PB-1W from a G, really.

Edited by Work In Progress

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As you say, the later B-17Gs had the right waist window further forward than the earlier build B-17Gs and B-17Fs. The late G model also would have the Cheyenne Tail Turret, which shortens the overall length of the B-17 and has the larger glazing.

B-17F/early G turret:

King_B17tailgun_2003.jpg

Later B-17G Cheyenne Turret:

B-17GTailTurret.jpg

The problem you would have with using the B-17F kit would be the cheek guns, as the B-17F and B-17G had the arrangement 'swapped over'... ie the B-17F had the cheek guns arranged with the left gun in the enlarged middle window and the right gun in an enlarged foward window. The G had the opposite arrangment, with the cheek gun in a bulged window on the furthest forward window on the left and in the middle on the right.

B-17F nose:

Boeing-B-17-Flying-Fortress-113_preview.jpg

B-17G nose:

B176bis.jpg

However, some Fs had the bulged windows too - but they were generally in the same 'left middel and right forward' arrangement.

As far as I know all the F models out there have the flat windows so you'll need to do some modifications if you use an F model.

The G also had the DF loop further aft (just in front of the bomb-bay) and had a single, small pitot on left of the nose rather than the larger two examples found on the F.

And also, don't forget the nose glazing itself was blunter on the late G models and had no gun mounts, and it was only on the later F models that the astrodome on top of the nose was included with the upper windows modified too.

I'd go with the G model if I were you!

Tom

Edited by tomprobert

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...To make a PB-1W I have to move the waist window, and change the rear gun so I am assuming any difference here between variants are irrelevant??
If you have to replace the fuselage rear and the waist windows, the fact that those were different between the 'G' and 'F' is largely irrelevant. If your PB-1W kept the cheek gun windows from the 'G', that will present your biggest remaining hurdle if you want to use a 'F'. Oh the 'G' also had a 'high hat' upper turret and most (all?) B-17F kits come with the shorter more heavier framed turret seen on earlier B-17s, if the upper turret remains after conversion to a PB-1W.

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Hi

used either the B-17G or F kits that I have in my stash?

HI

Given the response you have so far got you may wish to say which scale you are working in and which kits you have, as has been stated, there are many detail variations, and different kits will represent different sub-types.

Stating which specific kits may help in getting the information you want, as someone will know the subtype, and also what specific airframe details are needed for a PB-1W.

It may be the case you will find a specific kit will be a lot less work. I'm not up on B-17 kits myself so can't help.

One question, do Paragon specify a base kit? That may well be your answer.

You may wish to ask this on hyperscale plane talking as well, as they seem to have a larger US readership and more likely more B-17 experts.

HTH

T

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Thanks for all the reply's.

Sorry should have said, its 1/48th, I have the Revell B-17F Memphis Belle boxing and the the Revell-Monogram B-17G.

The Paragon set gives you the correct tail gun, so these differences are not a problem, they also give you a new nose transparency, so again that's not a problem. But I hadn't considered the Cheek guns. All in all I think I will be safer using the G kit.

Here is the paragon conversion:

PAR48048.JPG

Image from www.nahobbiesestore.com

Because there were not many of these planes around even at the time there are very few ref pics. This is probably the aircraft I was looking to build

US_Navy_PB-1W.jpg

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Cheer for the help guys.

Edited by Bomber_Harris

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US_Navy_PB-1W.jpg

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Cheer for the help guys.

From that picture I'd definately go for the G kit... the trickiest job will be the waist gun window moving forward but it will be a lot more work overall using the Revell B-17F. The G kit gives you a far better interior too which will be a bonus!

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Another point is that when you remove the lower nose turret and cover the resulting hole - that area of the nose is now nearly flat. You can barely see what I mean in your last picture.

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You'll definitely want a late G kit for your conversion, since that's what the Navy used. IIRC they were all very late production B-17Gs, as evidenced by the staggered waist window positions and the "Cheyenne" tail turret. They also had factory installed cheek windows, something that didn't happen until fairly late in Seattle G production (earlier a/c had them fitted at mod centers or depots).

J

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You'll definitely want a late G kit for your conversion, since that's what the Navy used. IIRC they were all very late production B-17Gs, as evidenced by the staggered waist window positions and the "Cheyenne" tail turret. They also had factory installed cheek windows, something that didn't happen until fairly late in Seattle G production (earlier a/c had them fitted at mod centers or depots).

J

with the monogram G you will have to stagger the waist gun windows,if you need a cheyenne tail gun,verlinden did a B 17 update with one and also Paragon,does your conversion set include this,also it may help you to know that B 17F's were often retro fitted with the G chin turret, so you may want to keep that when you remove it,waste not eh? And look out for pics of B 17's without the cheek guns and added chin turret and that will signify an updated F or early G. Well food for thought

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it may help you to know that B 17F's were often retro fitted with the G chin turret, so you may want to keep that when you remove it,waste not eh? And look out for pics of B 17's without the cheek guns and added chin turret and that will signify an updated F or early G. Well food for thought

Not really. I've never seen or heard of an F with a chin turret other than the very late Douglas-built Fs. From memory (fallible) I believe they were B-17F-100-DLs. Those were the first B-17s of any kind to receive the chin turret on the production line, and were in essence early Gs in all but name. I'm not aware of their being a field or depot mod kit for the chin turret, and I've never seen a pic of an F (by serial number) with a chin turret except for those last F-DL's mentioned above.

The cheek windows are not a give away at all. Boeing didn't start putting the angled cheek windows in at the Seattle factory until quite late in the G production run. They were added at the mod centers prior to shipment overseas (just as Cheyenne turrets were - at the United Airlines mod center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, hence the name). Vega and Douglas added them in at some point, but it's still fuzzy exactly where and what type were done by the factory. Lots of people have been trying to track this down for a long time, and the documentation just isn't there, or hasn't been discovered yet.

There were lots of Gs that had their chin turrets removed post-war, when they were converted into various support types.

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Not really. I've never seen or heard of an F with a chin turret other than the very late Douglas-built Fs. From memory (fallible) I believe they were B-17F-100-DLs. Those were the first B-17s of any kind to receive the chin turret on the production line, and were in essence early Gs in all but name. I'm not aware of their being a field or depot mod kit for the chin turret, and I've never seen a pic of an F (by serial number) with a chin turret except for those last F-DL's mentioned above.

The cheek windows are not a give away at all. Boeing didn't start putting the angled cheek windows in at the Seattle factory until quite late in the G production run. They were added at the mod centers prior to shipment overseas (just as Cheyenne turrets were - at the United Airlines mod center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, hence the name). Vega and Douglas added them in at some point, but it's still fuzzy exactly where and what type were done by the factory. Lots of people have been trying to track this down for a long time, and the documentation just isn't there, or hasn't been discovered yet.

There were lots of Gs that had their chin turrets removed post-war, when they were converted into various support types.

I get what you're saying the about the late F early G and the cheek gun installs added later,but a chin turret added to an F would still make an late F or early G right ? And Im sure Ive heard that existing F models were given chin turrets here in England, but I'm not saying I'm a B 17 expert,But I fell in love with the airfix artwork of bit o lace some 40 odd years ago

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Guys thanks for all the reply's

I have definitly decided that I'm going to build the PB-1W using the Revell G,

I picked up the Paragon conversion set at Telford, this gives me a new rear turret, new nose glass, blanks for the ball/chin/top turrets, and the radar done. It also give you details of the mod to the wait gun window that's required. So hopefully I have now got everything covered to build this. Just need to look for some decals, but that can wait.

DSCN0457.jpg

I have also picked up a copy of "B-17 in Blue" SEE HERE which has been invaluable.

The book has also helpd me pick the actual bird I wan't to build, and its a bit of a suprising one. The PB-1W I will eventually build is the one thats in the Bomber Hall at the RAF Museum Hendon..... This was originally a US Navy PB-1W, Navy Reg. 77233, its got a pretty facinating history, see HERE

Before:buno_77233_4_r1.jpg

After 117%20Boeing%20B17G%20Flying%20Fortress.jpg

Image from http://www.airmuseumsuk.org/museum/Hendon1...%20Fortress.htm

Rich

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It's a shame they converted it back to a "standard" (if there is such a thing) B-17G, the PB-1W would be historically interesting in its own right.

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I get what you're saying the about the late F early G and the cheek gun installs added later,but a chin turret added to an F would still make an late F or early G right ?

Not sure I understand what you're getting at. An F is an F and a G is a G. Adding this or that to it at a depot or a mod center or at squadron level doesn't change that. What's on the data plate is what counts.

And Im sure Ive heard that existing F models were given chin turrets here in England, but I'm not saying I'm a B 17 expert,But I fell in love with the airfix artwork of bit o lace some 40 odd years ago

As I said, I've done a lot of B-17 research, and I've never seen any evidence that there was a field modification to put a chin turret on an F. That would have been a *major* engineering challenge, which is the whole reason they switched from the F to the G on the production line to start with.

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Not sure I understand what you're getting at. An F is an F and a G is a G. Adding this or that to it at a depot or a mod center or at squadron level doesn't change that. What's on the data plate is what counts.

As I said, I've done a lot of B-17 research, and I've never seen any evidence that there was a field modification to put a chin turret on an F. That would have been a *major* engineering challenge, which is the whole reason they switched from the F to the G on the production line to start with.

what I meant to say was in model form a chin turret added to an F kit with appropriate little detail changes you could build a model of one of the late model F that you mentioned or an early G did all of the early G's have the typical cheek windows installed at mod centres before coming to england or elsewhere,Im sure that the chin turret field mod info was wrong,there is a lot of misinformation floating around esp on tv ww2 docs. Anyway Im no B 17 expert but I love B 17s and have nothing but respect for those guys who crewed them and the 60,000 of 8th AF who never came back, many buried here in the UK

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