This is a B-17 Flying Fortress glass coffee table, it’s made with an original engine from a B-17, the Wright R-1820-97 “Cyclone” turbosupercharged radial that was capable of 1,200 hp.
Each B-17 (B-17G) was fitted with four of these engines giving them a total power output of 4,800 hp, which resulted in a top speed of 287 mph, a cruising speed of 182 mph, and a service ceiling of 35,600 ft. When fully fuelled the B-17 had a range of 2,000 nautical miles while carrying a 6,000 lb payload.
The R-1820 first entered production in 1931 and remained in production well into the 1950s through a series of design updates and iterations. The engine is a nine-cylinder, air-cooled radial with a displacement of 1,823 cu. in. (29.88 litres), a bore of 6 1⁄8 in and a stroke of 6 7⁄8 in.
The coffee table has been built with the propeller shaft extending through the middle at the top, and it has a glass surface mounted to alloy legs that attach to the cylinder heads.
The engine has a dry weight of 1,184 lbs (537 kgs) so it’ll take a few strong folks to get it positioned correctly in the future owner’s living room, but once it’s been put down you’ll never have to worry about someone knocking it out of place.
RM Sotheby’s are due to offer this unusual coffee table in October as part of the Elkhart Collection, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Above Image: B-17 Flying Fortresses from the 398th Bombardment Group flying a bombing mission to Neumünster, Germany, on 13 April 1945. Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defence.
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