How do you calculate maximum range WITHOUT drop-tanks?
I am pretty sure, that you can not click it, if there is not enough supply in base, so that put some restrains on transfer through small islands.
Also, game engine draws direct lines, but that does not mean, that planes fly in straight, so you could cut some range for extra navigational/safety paths.
In the case of the B-17 I believe the "standard" bomb bay tank load was with four bombs. I read at least one account where a B-17 setting out on patrol was lost when (paraphrasing) "the bomb bay tank and 1 of 4 bombs exploded."
Bradley mentions, that British bombers could not be equipped with smaller bombs for St. Lo attack, but American could (he wanted no craters for ground assault), so this is more about available space, not sheer number.
< Message edited by inqistor -- 9/29/2012 10:35:15 AM >