18th of May 1940
While the second World War took hold of continental Europe, What would be the B17 made its first flight in Sweden on this day in aviation history. First flight of a B17 in Sweden, yes a B17. It started its life as an L-10 as a design by ASJA, which would be Saab after a merger. Once introduced into the Swedish airforce it became the B17.
With a crew of two, powered by a 9 cylinder air-cooled radial engine, it could cruise at 32.200 ft at a speed of 200 knots and had a range of about 1000 miles. It was build in different versions with different engines and duties., a total of 326 airframes were built of the different variants, of which 5 are known to survive to this day. During its operational life, it saw duty in the airforces of:
- Sweden ~250 airframes - Finland, 2 airframes
- Ethiopia, 47 airframes
- Denmark, 15 airframes
- Austria, one airframe