07:20 AM

CAP Timeline Flight: Beechcraft Staggerwing B-17L

With the approach of Civil Air Patrol's 80th anniversary on Dec.1, Maj. Ronald C. Finger of the Minnesota Wing's Crow Wing Composite Squadron worked with Col. Frank Blazich of the Col. Louisa S. Morse Center for Civil Air Patrol History on a special project -- to create “Timeline Flight” paintings showcasing some of the wide variety of CAP aircraft flown over the years.

The 21 aircraft selected span the Coastal Patrol days of World War II, the postwar years and finally the aircraft Civil Air Patrol aircrews fly today. This is the third. Others will be posted every four days.

Beechcraft Staggerwing B-17L NC15407 “Jezebell”

  • Capacity: 4
  • Length: 26 feet, 10 inches
  • Maximum speed: 212 mph
  • Cruise speed: 202 mph
  • Range: 670 miles
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 feet

The Beechcraft Model 17 "Staggerwing" was first flown in 1932. During its heyday, it was used as an executive aircraft, much as a private jet is now.

The Model 17's unusual wing configuration -- the upper wing staggered behind the lower --  maximized pilot visibility and was intended to reduce drag. The B-17L featured a 225-horsepower Jacobs L-4 engine and retractable landing gear.

“Jezebell” NC15407 flew anti-submarine patrols out of CAP Coastal Patrol Base No. 2 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, one of the first active in Civil Air Patrol's 21-base roster.

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