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The Boeing Model 299 was a promising new design for a bomber requirement from the USAAC but lost to the Douglas B-18 Bolo after th crash of the prototype due to pilot error (failure to remove control locks before take-off). Nevertheless, the USAAC quietly pursued continued evaluation of the type and the B-17 Flying Fortress entered production.
The early Fortressses gained combat experience with the RAF and proved that the design was not yet ready. The aircraft lacked defensive armament, especially in the tail, and a number of other issues which Boeing addressed with the next version: the B-17E. This new version saw a lengthened rear fuselage, larger vertical stabilizer, and an enclosed gunner's position in the tail. The side blisters were replaced by sliding window panels with waist gun positions, and powered turrets were added to the dorsal (behind the cockpit) and ventral (aft of the radio compartment) sides of the aircraft.
Academy has reissued their B-17E Flying Fortress kit in this Pacific Theater theme. To date, this is the only styrene kit of the B-17E on the market though HK Models is about to release the B-17E/F in 1/32 scale in the near future. There haven't been any releases of this version in 1/48 scale (so far) and though you might have seen the B-17E in a Minicraft box years ago, this was also the Academy kit.
Considering the age of this tooling, Academy has maintained the molds nicely as there is no sign of mold flash on initial inspection of the parts trees. Despite the age of this kit, the surface details are all scribed. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five parts trees plus three trees of clear parts. Among the features and options in this kit:
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