The B-17 is one of the iconic allied bombers of WWII. First flown in 1935 and in service up until 1968 in the Brazilian Air Force, the B-17 was a sturdy, heavy lifting power house. Practically anyone familiar with military aviation will be familiar with the B-17, but what many are not aware of are the interesting and unique B-17 modifications that were constructed during WWII. The most notable B-17 modifications were the XB-38, The YB-40 and the C-108.
The XB-38 was a converted B-17 modified to mount 4 Allison V-1710 engines. This replaced the usual complement of 4 Wright R-1820 radial engines.
The XB-38 was built in 1943 and first flew in May of that year. It was capable of a higher top speed (287 mph increased to 327 mph) but saw a decrease in it’s service ceiling(35,600 feet to 29,600 feet.) The project was canceled due to a number of accidents, including a serious engine fire that resulted in the destruction of the only prototype. Additionally, the Allison V-1710 engine was needed for production of the P-38 Lightening and the P-51 Mustang, among others. In 1944 a similar project was started to install inline engines on a B-29 Superfortress. Called the XB-39, the modified aircraft performed well enough, but cost concerns prevented the new design from entering production.
Introduced in 1943, before the P-51 arrived in Europe for high altitude escort missions, the YB-40 was B-17 modified to act as an escort gunship for bomber formations penetrating into the European continent.
While the normal B-17 carried 13 Browning 50 caliber Machine guns, the YB-40 carried, on average, 18 and had room for up to 30 machine guns of various calibers. Some YB-40s even carried guns up to 40mm. Additionally, the YB-40 was full to the brim with ammunition, allowing it to sustain fire for far longer than the normal B-17. The YB-40 carried approximately 10,700 rounds of 50 caliber ammunition with 4,000 rounds stored in the bomb bay.
Compare this with the normal B-17 which carried approximately 2,000 rounds total. The trade off was, of course, speed, and climb rate. The YB-40 was reported to take 48 minutes to climb 20,000 feet while the bombers it was escorting only took 25 minutes to climb to the same altitude.
This drawback, along with the fact that the YB-40 could not keep up with the B-17 formations, especially after they had dropped their bombs, meant that the YB-40 did not see use after the introduction of the P-51 Mustang. Despite its drawbacks, the 25 completed YB-40s flew 48 sorties and shot down 5 German aircraft plus 2 probables. The last recorded YB-40 combat mission was in July of 1943, however, the new turrets developed for the YB-40 such as the Bendix chin turret (pictured below) and the improved “Cheyenne” tail turret proved effective enough to be mounted on late war B-17 bombers.
A single Consolidated B-24 Liberator, called the XB-41, was modified in a similar fashion to act as a long range bomber escort, but it never saw combat.
The XC-108 was a modified B-17 bomber converted to act as a V.I.P. transport for General Douglas MacArthur.
The plane was stripped of arms and armour except for the nose and tail turrets. The interior was converted into a private office for the General. The plane was fitted with a kitchen and living space. After the success of this model, the USAAF, with plenty of obsolete bombers laying around, began looking into ways to convert bombers into transport craft. A number of models were produced including the XC-108A, cargo and troop transport that could carry up to 64 fighting men, and the XC-108B which was converted into a fuel tanker. The B-24 Liberator was similarly modified into a transport known as the Liberator express. This model saw widespread use with 287 aircraft built.
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Hands tied back, two senses made entirely useless. You can’t see him, you can barely hear him. But you know he’s there, waiting, watching. Looking at you in his most treasured way. You could almost feel his eyes, devouring you from wherever he was nearby. Then, finally, when you thought you couldn’t take it any longer, his hands touched your face.
M I C H A E L
‘How do I know you’ll be nice.’ He whined, his face contorted in confusion and discomfort beneath the blindfold. 'You don’t.’ You’re lips tugged on his earlobe. Pulling back before he could grab you. 'First.’ You held the strawberry to his lips, waiting for him to taste. Nervously he bit. 'Strawberry.’ 'Second.’ You dangled the blueberry above his lip. 'Blueberry.’ 'Next.’ You neared him, pressing yours lips to his, his hands leaving his lap and pulling you in. 'My girl.’
L U K E
He squirmed before you pressed a hand into the center of his chest, pushing him back onto the bed. He paused, lying back all the way as you crawled over him, pressing your hands against him as you settled, your heat just over his clothed self. You pressed down, a groan escaping him. 'You’re all mine tonight.’ You murmured, but before you even finished the sentence he gripped your hips, flipping the pair of you and tugging his blindfold away. 'Are you so sure?’
A S H T O N
He’s everywhere and nowhere. Right when you expect his hand to touch your stomach, it’s on your leg, and the thrill of uncertainty burns in your belly. 'Tell me what you want.’ His voice was closer than expected. The words were lost in your mouth. Breath washed over your face. 'What do you need?’ The tone held both anger and passion, a mix that was toxic and addictive. 'You.’
Pears are a great source of fiber and vitamin C. When picking a pear, you want to make sure that the end of the stem is slightly soft. Some brown discoloration is fine. You can ripen them at room temperature in a loosely closed paper bag.
Serving size: 1 medium (178 g), 103 calories, 6 g fiber, 1 g protein, 28 g carbs, 12% vitamin C, 10% vitamin K
Pineapples are filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes, which make them a perfect anti-inflammation cocktail. It protects against colon cancer, arthritis, and macular degeneration.
Serving size: 1 cup, chunks (165 g), 82 calories, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein, 22 g carbs, 131% vitamin C, 76% manganese
Mangos are packed with Vitamin A and C and have beta-carotene which helps prevent certain types of cancer and helps with your skin.
Serving size: 1 cup, sliced (165 g), 107 calories, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein, 28 g carbs, 76% vitamin C, 25% vitamin A, 11% vitamin B6
Watermelon can help your heart! The USDA said that people who drank six 8-ounce cups of watermelon juice for 3 weeks saw a 22% increase in their levels of arginine, an amino acid that boosts blood flow to the heart. It seems unreasonable to expect anyone to drink that amount, but some is better than none!
Serving size: 1 cup, balled (154 g), 46 calories, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein, 12 g carbs, 21% vitamin C, 18% vitamin A
Although coconut contains more saturated fat than butter, it has a beneifical effect on heart disease risk factors.
Serving size: 1 cup, shredded (80 g), 283 calories, 7 g fiber, 3 g protein, 27 g fat, 12 g carbs, 60% manganese, 12% selenium
Kiwi is packed with vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and Vitamin E. Although it might seem weird, eating them skin and all gives you the greatest health benefits.
Serving size: 1 medium fruit, 46 calories, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein, 11 g carbs, 117% vitamin C, 38% vitamin K, 7% potassium
Papaya contains a full day’s worth of Vitamin C. The Vitamin C combined with the Vitamin E and beta-carotene makes it a great inflammation reducer and helps lessen the effects of asthma.
Serving size: 1 cup, cubed (140 g), 55 calories, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein, 14 g carbs, 144% vitamin C, 31% vitamin A, 13% folate
Guava contains lycopene, which is an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer, and has more than any other fruit or vegetable. Guava contains a ton of potassium, more than bananas. There is also a ton of fiber.
Serving size: 1 cup (165 g), 112 calories, 9 g fiber, 4 g protein, 2 g fat, 24 g carbs, 628% vitamin C, 20% folate, 20% potassium
Star Fruit is high in Vitamin C. It also contains polyphenols, which helps fight cardiovascular inflammation. You can eat the whole fruit including the skin!
Serving size: 1 medium fruit (3 5/8" long), 28 calories, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein, 6 g carbs, 52% vitamin C, 3% potassium, 1% vitamin A
Passion fruit is full of Vitamin A which helps your vision and has cholesterol-lowering fiber. The pulp is filled with the fiber so make sure you eat it!
Serving size: 1 cup (236 g), 229 calories, 25 g fiber, 5 g protein, 2 g fat, 55 g carbs, 118% vitamin C, 60% vitamin A, 23% potassium
The best strawberries are the unblemished ones with a bright red color extending to the stem. Strawberries are high in Vitamin C and Manganese.
Serving size: 1 cup, halves (152 g), 49 calories, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein, 12 g carbs, 149% vitamin C, 29% manganese
Blackberries contain 40% more antioxidants than the red kind, are a great source of Vitamin C, K, and Manganese.
Serving size: 1 cup (144 g), 62 calories, 8 g fiber, 2 g protein, 1 g fat, 15 g carbs, 50% vitamin C, 47% manganese, 36% vitamin K
Blueberries can help prevent many diseases including cancer and heart disease, are high in Vitamin K, C, and Manganese.
Serving size: 1 cup (148 g), 84 calories, 4 g fiber, 1 g protein, 21 g carbs, 36% vitamin K, 24% vitamin C, 25% manganese
Raspberries are a great source of Vitamin C, K, and Magnesium.
Serving size: 1 cup (123 g), 64 calories, 8 g fiber, 1 g protein, 15 g carbs, 54% vitamin C, 5% Iron
You have to be careful when you are buying peaches because they are often covered in tons of pesticides to create blemish-free skin. They can be coated with up to nine different pesticides. To ensure that your consumption of pesticides are limited, buy the ones with the “USDA Organic” sticker on them. They are a great source of Vitamin C.
Serving size: 1 medium fruit (2 2/3" diameter), 59 calories, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein, 15 g carbs, 17% vitamin C
Cantaloupe can be known to carry salmonella and shigella. That being said, try to select cantaloupe with perfect skin because the dents and bruises can provide a path in for pathogens. Cantaloupe provide more than enough Vitamin C and A.
Serving size: 1 cup, balled (177 g), 60 calories, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein, 16 g carbs, 120% vitamin A, 108% vitamin C, 14% potassium
Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C.
Serving size: 1 medium orange (1-5/8” diameter), 62 calories, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein, 15 g carbs, 116% vitamin C, 5% Calcium, 6% Vitamin A