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Swedish Fortresses

The Boeing F-17 Fortress in civil and military service

White • 2010
AuthorsJan Forsgren
IllustratorTeodor Liviu Morosanu, Nils Mathisrud
ISBN978-83-89450-87-6
Release date2010-12-03
SeriesWhite
Cat. No.9112
CategorySold Out CategoryWyprzedana
FormatA4 HB plus A2 fold-outs, 128 pages (64 in colour)
Price122.00 PLN Price24.99 GBP

Książka opisuje cywilne wersje B-17, przebudowane w Szwecji z samolotów USAAF, które tam lądowały w czasie 2-giej wojny i zostały internowane. Zostały dokładnie opisane dzieje wszystkich B-17, jakie znalazły się w Szwecji.

Szczególne miejsce zajmuje historia B-17 "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby" od chwili lądowania w Szwecji poprzez służbę w szwedzkich liniach lotniczych, Francji aż do przybycia do USA i renowacji.

Książka na osobnych wkładkach formatu A2, w osobnej teczce zawiera plany w skali 1/72 oraz kolorowe sylwetki wszystkich F-17, oraz malowania B-17 w wersji w jakiej lądowały w Szwecji.

Sylwetki kolorowe mają rozmiar 40 cm a jedna nawet 60 cm!

Many USAAF aircraft landed in neutral Sweden during WW2. The Swedish authorities arranged to buy many of these from the US, to supplement their limited and ageing aircraft stocks. The B-17 Flying Fortress was selected for conversion to an airliner, and Saab undertook the work. This book tells, for the first time in English, the story of these aircraft and their subsequent careers, in Sweden, Denmark and France. No other B-17s were ever used as airliners, so this is a unique addition to the well-known history of the Fortress.

Illustrated with many photos, both contemporary and of surviving airframes, and with colour profiles of the colour schemes carried by these aircraft. Detailed plans of the modified airframes are included.

Story of the "Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby" restoration is included.

Colour profiles are 40 cm long!

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  • SAMI March 2011 • 2011-08-15
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  • Amazon.co.uk customer review (2) • 2011-08-15

    Swedish and danish types of B-29, 7 Mar 2011

    By Bent Sehested Hansen "tuse" (Europe, Denmark) - See

    A very good source, if you are going to build a model af this special type. I am going to build the "Store Bjørn", used by The Royal Danish Airforce for photographic taskes i Greenland.

  • www.aerovintage.com • 2011-08-15

    Swedish Fortresses is a book that was long needed and it is finally here. It was put out by Mushroom Model Publications in the UK but published by the Polish publisher Stratus. Author Jan Forsgren covers in great detail the story of the nine B-17s that were interned by the Swedish government, eventually transferred from the U.S. AAF, modified for passenger transport, and their post war service in Sweden, Denmark, and France. The story of these nine aircraft is part of the larger story of the 143 American combat aircraft that diverted to Sweden off of combat missions conducted over Europe, a number that included sixty-nine B-17s, plus B-24s, P-51s, and several other types. Most of the American flight crews were interned for a good part of the war. The book details the transfer of nine of the B-17s from the U.S. government to the Swedish government in the fall of 1944, basically in exchange for the release of 500 American airmen being held. The B-17s were needed by the Swedish government to meet a pressing air transport need, and they were modified by SAAB to become civil airliners. The Swedish designated these modified B-17s as F-17, the "F", according to the book, being a nod of the hat to the U.S. Air Attache Felix Hardison who made the deal possible.

    The book has dozens of never seen photos of these nine airplanes through their years of service, and many will be surprised to see these rare views of the airplanes stored on airfields in Sweden, being modified by SAAB, and in operation as airliners. The book stock is heavy, coated paper so the (black and white) photos turned out very well. Individual aircraft histories are provided for each of the nine airplanes with their eventual fate. The layout of the book could probably be improved a bit...one gets the idea it wasn't quite what the author had in mind when it went to the publisher, but the information is all there. It is 64 pages of text and photos, with sections devoted to the French IGN use of several airplanes, the recovery of Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby (a Swedish survivor), and paint & markings.

    Speaking of markings, the book is bundled with a little gem entitled Scale Plans Colour Profiles. It came to this reviewer encased in plastic wrap with the book and the proclamation "Not to be sold separately" but what it contains is eight large high quality color profiles researched by Nils Mathisrud and drawn by Teodor Liviu Morosanu. Each contains a wealth of information about the markings carried on these unusual B-17s...er, F-17s. These are detailed sets of drawings that would be ideal for the modelers among us and tell a fascinating story by themselves.

    (Scott Thompson 5/5/11)

  • Cybermodeler.com • 2011-08-15

    by Ray Mehlberger

    Date of Review January 2011

    Mushroom Model Publications is based in the UK. Their books are printed in English by their partner Stratus Publications in Sandomierz, Poland. This new book was sent from Stratus very heavily sealed in cardboard to protect it.

    The book is hardbound and 128 pages long. It came with a portfolio of 8 fold out pages (23” x 16 ½”) of color profiles and line drawings. This portfolio and the book were shrink-wrapped together and are not to be sold separately it says.

    Many USAAF aircraft landed in neutral Sweden during WWII. The Swedish authorities arranged to buy many of these from the US, to supplement their limited and ageing aircraft stocks. The B-17 Flying Fortress was selected for conversion to an airliner, and Saab undertook the work to convert several airframes.

    This book tells, for the first time in English, the story of these aircraft and their subsequent careers in Sweden, Denmark and France. No other B-17’s were ever used as airliners, so this is a unique addition to the well-known history of the iconic B-17 Fortress.

    One of the last survivors of these Swedish airframes is “Shoo Shoo Baby”, currently being restored in the USA. Details and photos of this restoration are included in the book.

    The book is illustrated with 114 black and white photos, both contemporary and of surviving airframes. The portfolio that is shrink-wrapped to this book has eight folded sheets, that are 23” x 16 ½” and printed on both sides. They hold a total of 19 color side profiles, four color 2-views, one color 3-view, and two color 4-views. One of the sheets has 1/72nd scale line drawings that includes 2 cut-away drawings. Three black and white photos appear on these sheets and the color nose art logos for “Shoo Shoo Baby” (which appears 4 times), “Georgia Rebel”, “Veni Vidi Vici” and “Lakanuki”.

    Detailed plans of the modified airframes are included.

    This set will prove to be an invaluable addition to the literature about the B-17, and of interest to aviation historians and scale modelers. Highly recommended.

  • ModelingMadness.com • 2011-08-15

    Reviewer: Scott Van Aken

    Thanks to our friends at Mushroom Models Publications, we have another superb title on a rather esoteric subject. During WWII, two European nations were able to remain neutral; Switzerland and Sweden. Both were havens for US bombers that were shot up or damaged in some way and were unable to make it back to their British bases. Both countries ended the war with quite a few B-17s, but it was Sweden that actually did something with them.

    It was decided to purchase some of the better planes and convert them to airliners. This was much due to the Germans shooting down some of their aircraft as they transited across Norway to the UK to deliver cargo or passengers. The B-17 would be able to fly at faster speeds and high enough to keep out the sights of the German gunners. So seven planes were chosen with five being converted by Saab and two used as a spares source. These planes went into service in 1944 and until post war deliveries of DC-4 could be made in late 1947, these F-17s (as they were designated by the Swedes) were in revenue service. One was sold to Denmark post war while that nation awaited new DC-4s as well.

    Eventually the F-17s were put to pasture and scrapped, but the Danish plane was later sold to Danish AF for survey use in Greenland and then sold to the French who did the same with it in Algeria. Once retired, the aircraft sat until recovered by the USAF when it was found that this plane was a bonafide wartime B-17. You see, all the other B-17s that have survived were post war planes that never saw combat. The lone exception is 'The Swoose'. This ex-French B-17 turned out to be 'Shoo,shoo,shoo Baby' and has since been restored (though in an incorrect camouflage scheme).

    The author does an exceptional job of tracking down the histories of all the Swedish fortresses and tells the story of each and every one of them. This is complete with a myriad of excellent photos of the aircraft before and after conversion. Included with this book is a portfolio of 8 large 16 x 24 inch fold outs in full color that cover all of the Swedish Fortresses. These fold outs are printed on both sides so that you get all four views of these interesting and intriguing aircraft.

    January 2011

  • InternetModeler.com • 2011-08-15

    By Chris Banyai-Riepl

    When I first heard that this book was going to be released, I was quite excited as building a model of a Swedish B-17 has been a plan of mine for quite some time. Its arrival has shown that it is everything I had hoped it to be, combining a detailed text with copious photographs and a separate stack of color profile illustrations and scale drawings. The B-17 arrived in Sweden in the form of forced landings during the Second World War. While most of those were scrapped or returned to the US, nine aircraft were purchased by Sweden for post-war use. It is these nine aircraft that this book covers.

    The book begins with a description of the arrival of each of the nine B-17s. As mentioned, these showed up in the form of forced landings, although this does not necessarily mean an uncontrolled landing. In some cases, a regular landing took place, saving the aircraft for later use. It was from these lightly damaged aircraft that the nine were chosen from the 69 B-17s that made it to Sweden. Following the section on the arrival of the B-17, the next chapter details the reasons behind and the process of the actual purchase.

    As these were destined to become airliners, they needed to be converted from their military origins to a civil arrangement. This is fairly involved, so the book devotes an entire chapter to that process. The conversion was done in Sweden by Saab and involved removing all the armament and outfitting the interior with passenger seats. Following this interesting discussion is a detailed history of the civil operations, followed by a short section providing individual aircraft histories.

    As noted earlier, all the color illustrations are provided separate from the main text in the form of fold-out sheets. The illustrations show the various aircraft in a myriad of guises, including the original USAAF markings, various iterations of Swedish markings, and even the Danish and French examples, used after the Swedes were done with the aircraft. Also included in these large (roughly 22" by 17") foldouts are scale drawings that provide a solid reference for the modifications done by Saab.

    This is easily the best reference on these Swedish Fortresses, and that makes this book an essential requirement for anyone interested in the aircraft. My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the review copy.

  • Amazon.co.uk customer review • 2011-08-15

    Average Customer Review

    5.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer review)

    Mr. P. E. Maxfield (Salisbury, England)

    My e-mail to the author:-

    Dear Jan,

    I just got my copy of your most excellent and informative book, and wanted to congratulate you on a fine piece of work!

    It's quite different from what I expected; much bigger for a start; and the fold-out colour profiles are a really nice addition.

    My journey of discovery, starting from an original unidentified tiny and blurred photo, to the wealth of knowledge that I now have thanks to you and Mushroom, is definitely in the order of a quantum leap!

    A huge thank you!

    Very best wishes,

    Pete.

  • Amazon.com customer review • 2011-08-15

    5.0 out of 5 stars A very unusual variant of the B-17, February 17, 2011

    By John Matlock "Gunny" (Winnemucca, NV)

    These were the only B-17's used for scheduled airlane passenger service. Indeed, the FAA had ruled that the B-17 could not be used for carrying passengers by American airlines. (I can't imagine why!)

    When you see a B-17 in the movies it looks like it is a big airplane. When you see one in real life it is surprisingly small. Barely enough room in it for the waist gunners to stand up. As such, when converted to a passenger plane, it only held 14 passengers, fewer than a DC-3, and with four engines its fuel consumption was twice that of a DC-3. Only the general circumstances of World War II, when all aircraft were in high demand by the military did it make sense for a country like Sweden to convert bombers to passenger service. Only 7 planes were converted, making this a very unusual variant of the Flying Fortress.

  • MAM April 2011 • 2011-08-15
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  • Scaleplasticandrail.com • 2011-08-15

    This title is quite unusual in that it not doesn’t deal with the regular post-war service of the iconic Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, but that of its service with the Swedish civil and military services. While this title isn’t a large, thick tome, and all photographs within are in black and white, it is nevertheless an important and unusual chapter in the life of this machine.

    During the Second World War, Sweden’s neutrality had effectively protected its sealed borders, but this didn’t prevent war-booty entering the country through its airspace. And this happened on many, many occasions, with a large variety of Allied aviation hardware touching down due to malfunction, mis-navigation, damage, or lack of fuel etc.

    The Swedish authorities maintained a large number of these interned machines in flying condition, and at wars’ end, those which weren’t returned to the Americans, or scrapped due to their condition, were purchased by the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) and the Swedish Government. Nine B-17’s were purchased by the Swedish Government, and seven of these were converted to civil 14-seat airliners, under the new designation F-17. The two remaining machines were used as spares for this small, new fleet.

    The B-17 was designed as a bomber only, with no intention that it would be converted to civil use at any stage. This of course presented the teams which converted these machines with some interesting technical challenges. The scrapping of a complete bomb-bay and waist gun positions, but also the removal of the ball turret and modification of the tail turret had to be overcome. The utilitarian gun-wielding and bomb-sight laden nose was entirely redesigned to produce a more aesthetic and longer alternative.

    Although a little cramped, there is no doubt that the Swedes did a fantastic job on these conversions, as is evident by the photographs of the interiors and other conversion elements.

    MMP’s book begins with numerous photos of B-17’s which either crash-landed or were forced down over Sweden during the European conflict. Specific machines are shown at their internment, and after being ferried for conversion, wish some excellent photos of the Forts, post-conversion. Several B-17’s had had an interesting service career prior to internment, and the author explains these histories and the raids, if known, that they had taken part in prior to being ‘lost’. One key machine here is ‘Shoo Shoo Baby’. Its conversion to a civilian machine and its subsequent post-service ferrying to a museum, prior to its complete restoration back to its military condition as ‘Shoo Shoo Baby’, are given later in the book.

    One chapter is devoted to the conversion of the B-17’s, and this is a goldmine of photographic detail on exactly how these machines varied from their previous military incarnations. Pictures are included which show the partially stripped out interior of a particular machine, and the final conversion, complete with seating and smart civil interior. The transformation, some undertaken by SAAB engineers, is quite stunning, providing some rare shots of a former bomber.

    A detailed service history of the F-17’s is given, with many photographs showing operations, and one incident where an F-17 made an ‘unscheduled’ landing in the Shetlands during the war, after engine trouble. This occasion is described in detail, complete with supporting photographs.

    Two F-17’s were sold to the Danish airline, Det Danske Luftfartsselskab, with one being written off in a ground accident shortly after entering service. Supporting photos are given for this incident too, and thankfully, no one was killed or injured. The remaining machine was sold to the French National Geographic Institute, and fitted out accordingly for its missions in different climactic conditions for photography and mapping etc. This machine was eventually damaged on the ground in 1961, and put out to pasture for spares to equip other B-17’s bought from the Americans, and being used for the same purpose.

    Fittingly, the last chapter is called ‘The Return of Shoo Shoo Baby’, and details the dismantling of this F-17 conversion, and its transport from Frankfurt to the USAF Museum in the USA, where its conversion back to B-17 standard began in 1980. Restoration was completed in 1988, where air-worthy status had been reinstated. It is now expected that this machine will be transferred to the NASM for static display.

    Finally, this book comes complete with a set of eight, folded A2 sized drawings, presented in a card wallet. These drawings depict both colour schemes for B-17’s pre-conversion, and also post-conversion schemes, as well as line drawings in 1/72 scale. The quality of these sheets are superb, and provide a wonderful resource for both historian and modeller alike.

    So what do we think?

    This is a highly unusual reference set for a subject which you don’t tend to see on modelling tables. With any luck, we might now see a few of these schemes come to light at shows around the country. Very highly recommended.

    Overall: 9/10

  • Aeroplane 05/2011 • 2011-08-15
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  • AIR Modeller 34 • 2011-08-15
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  • IPMSUSA.org • 2011-08-15

    Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146

    Hardback, 128 Pages, 8 ½ x 11”, Plus 8 16” x 23” poster sized double sides sheets showing profile drawings in 1/48 and 1/72 scale in separate packet, labeled “not to be sold separately”

    This book answers a couple of often asked questions (1) what happened to the battled damaged USAAF B-17’s and crews that diverted to Sweden rather than accepting the hospitality of the Luftwaffe?, and (2) how were these planes acquired by the Swedes and used after the war? This is a fascinating story that answers a lot of questions, but still leaves a few open, such as “Why did the Swedes use B-17’s when the B-24 and C-87’s would have been a better choice for their purposes?”

    During the course of the war, a number of B-17’s, along with other types, diverted to neutral Sweden after sustaining considerable battle damage preventing their return to England. Most of these planes landed intact, and very few were destroyed by their crews. Other types included B-24’s, P-51’s, a Lockheed F-5, and a deHavilland Mosquito. In addition, three C-87 Liberator transports somehow made it to Sweden. Although the crews were eventually repatriated back to the UK after only a short internment, the planes remained. The Swedes, however, decided to use the B-17’s as the basis for their projected expansion of their national airline, pending the availability of Douglas C-54’s, which they knew would be available once the war was over. They negotiated with the US government to purchase nine of the B-17’s, and set about modifying them for airline use. The Saab Company did the conversions on seven of the aircraft, which involved removal of all military equipment and installation of passenger accommodations and windows. The other two were retained as sources of spare parts. They were redesignated “F-17” by the Swedes.

    Although Swedish service was brief, it was the only time that the B-17 bomber was used in regularly scheduled airline service, which began even while the war was still in progress, flying the route between Sweden and England, carrying passengers and Swedish ball bearings for the Allied war effort. Later, Swedish “F-17’s” were flown to the USA and such places as Ethiopia. Following the end of the war, when the planes were finally taken out of service, several were sold to Denmark, and one wound up as a survey plane in France. This one was later discovered to be B-17G “Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby”, a bomber with a long combat record, and this plane was eventually retrieved and returned to the USA, where it has been restored and is now on display in the Air Force Museum at Wright Field, being one of three preserved Fortresses with a distinguished combat history.

    The Book

    This book, like all Mushroom publications I have read, tells a fascinating story. It contains numerous good quality photos, and a detailed individual history of each airplane. There is no color in the book, but not to worry. A supplemental packet is included with the book, containing no less than EIGHT 16” 23” double sided sheets containing photos and very highly detailed 1/72 and 1/48 scale color drawings and profiles. These are extremely well done, and should provide an excellent reference for anyone wishing to model any of these historic aircraft. If you have any interest in this chapter in aviation history, this book, along with its supplement, will be an essential addition to your library. Don’t miss out on this one. Highly recommended.

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