The era of the B-17 is finally drawing to a close more than fifty years after the Boeing Model 299 first left the drawing board. Those remaining in the U.S. are the survivors of several decades of combat, military and civil use. For the most part, they have become pampered queens, especially those owned by private individuals and museums. They shine and glisten, often wearing precisely authentic paint and running better than the day they were built. They deserve pampering, for they are the literal end of the line.