B-17 Flying Fortress – The Mighty 8th
Submitted by: rickHH
During the mission-planning phase, make sure to plot the waypoints for
your ingress and egress routes around enemy antiaircraft concentrations.
Although it may take longer for the bomber fleet to reach its objective(s),
the formation won’t have to fly through as much flak, which will hopefully
cut losses and make your bombing run that much more effective.
Don’t forget that in addition to the bombers, you can take over the controls
of your fighter escorts at any time during play. Consider hopping in the
fighter escorts during the early phases of the mission to keep the enemy
fighter opposition at bay as long as possible. You can always switch back
to the bombers whenever the enemy fighters are within attack range of the
If you’re playing the bomber campaign, don’t bother going after distant
targets such as Berlin until the spring of 1944, when long-range P51D
Mustangs are available to escort the bomb group to and from the target.
Success in B-17 revolves around taking care of and learning from your crew.
Take time to notice how the computer-controlled gunners aim for the fast
moving fighters and try to learn from their techniques. When you are being
attacked, use 'Z’ and 'X’ to change to an enemy fighter, then SHIFT-F1 to
see the battle from the fighter pilot’s view.
A healthy crew is a happy crew:
Make regular checks to ensure the crew is OK and that the guns aren’t jammed
-it’s easy to miss messages in the heat of combat. Keep at least one pilot
healthy because the plane can end up in a spin if it’s in a turn when the
pilot is hit, giving little time to bail out.Make the radio operator send a
MayDay message to improve your chances of survival when you’re bailing out
over the channel. Landing an engineless,bullet-ridden, flame-scorched B-17
after a mission is risky and difficult. Bail out over the channel to ensure
mission success. Before landing, attempt to heal injured crew otherwise they
are hospitalized. Having more than one crew member perform first aid on a
casualty increases the chances of success.
Take care of your engines:
Make regular checks on the outside view to check your engines; if your co-pilot
has been hit you don’t get any warning. Fuel leaks can be critical to the success
of a mission. If necessary you need to turn off an engine or two and drop out of
formation to conserve fuel. If your engines are on fire point the nose at the
ground and try diving at between 350-400 mph – this is useful in later levels
when one fire extinguisher per engine isn’t enough.