Don't Do Loops in a B-17

Don’t roll or loop your B-17 bomber. Important pilot restrictions for the B-17 Flying Fortress from the Pilot’s Manual for Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress:

Pilot Instructions for B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber

  • DON’T lower flaps at speeds in excess of 147 mph!
  • DON’T dive in excess of 270 mph (with modified elevators).
  • WARNING: Some airplanes are restricted to 220-mph maximum diving speed, pending modification of the elevators. See warning placard in airplane.
  • DON’T exceed 46 inches Hg manifold pressure!
  • DON’T exceed 30 inches Hg below 2100 rpm!
  • DON’T stall the airplane! (except for training purposes.)
  • DON’T spin!
  • DON’T roll!
  • DON’T loop!
  • DON’T attempt inverted flight!
  • DON’T fly the airplane at maximum gross weight (64,500 pounds) UNLESS auxiliary wing tanks are full!
  • CAUTION: All power settings given in this section are for use with 100 octane fuel only. See appendix III for restrictions to be observed when using 91 octane fuel.


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3 comments to Don’t Do Loops in a B-17

  • Pat Flannery

    Although I can picture a B-17 pilot possibly trying to roll one, I can’t picture anyone in their right mind trying to loop one.
    …as for avoiding a spin, outside of stunt or test pilots, most pilots try to avoid that, don’t they?

  • St.L.

    Glad you wrote this.

  • James Warner

    I never flew anything larger than an A-26, but I did a lot of rolls in Hellcats, Corsairs and Bearcats. I believe an aeleron roll in a B-17 is possible. Inverted spins in Bearcats is forbidden, but I did one from 9,000 feet all the way down to 1,000 feet [unintentional]

    Jim Warner, former Naval Aviator WW II/Korea