Crowood Aviation Series, The Crowood Press, Marlborough, 1st ed., 1998. 192 pp., numerous photo-ills., + some ills. D.j., 28 x 22cm. FINE +. The Boeing B-17 is one of the most readily identifiable aircraft of World War Two. Known as the Flying Fortress due to its formidable defensive armament, it spearheaded the United States Army Air Force daylight bombing offensive against the Axis powers in Europe and the Pacific. Originally conceived as a long-range bomber capable of protecting the United States from naval attack, it first flew – as the Model 299 – on 28 July 1935 and was still in front-line service at the end of World War Two, ten years later. Here is the full story of the B-17. The author unearthed new information and has amassed a large number of photographs, many of which are previously unpublished.