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B-29 Superfortress
US long-range and high-altitude heavy bomber

B-29 Superfortress

Boeing Model 345 B-29 Superfortress
Type:
High-altitude heavy long-range and atomic bomber.
History:
Development and mass production of the B-29, the Boeing Model 345 which was named Superfortress, was one of the biggest tasks in the history of aviation. It began with a March 1938 study for a new bomber with pressurised cabin and tricycle landing gear. This evolved into the 345 and in August 1940 money was voted for two prototypes. In January 1942 the Army Air Force ordered
14 YB-29s and 500 production aircraft.

B29 Superfortress showers incendiaries
A B29 Superfortress showers incendiaries on Japan in 1945.

By February, while Boeing engineers worked night and day on the huge technical problems, a production organization was set up involving Boeing, Bell, North American and Fisher (General Motors). Martin came in later and by VJ-day more than 3,000 Superfortress had been delivered. This was a fantastic achievement because each represented five or six times the technical effort of any earlier bomber. In engine power, gross weight, wing loading, pressurisation, armament airborne systems and even basic structure the B29 set a wholly new standard.

B29 bombing Jokohama
B29 Superfortress bombing Jokohama

First combat mission was flown by the 58th Bomb Wing on 5 June 1944, and by 1945 20 groups from the Marianas were sending 500 B-29s at a time to flatten and burn Japan's cities. Three aircraft made emergency landings in Soviet territory, and Tupolev's design bureau put the design into production as the Tu-4 bomber and Tu- 70 transport.
The B29 C had all guns except those in the tail removed, increasing speed and altitude. After the war there were 19 variants of B29, not including the Washington B.I supplied to help the RAF in 1950-58.

Atomic bomb over Hiroshima
The cloud of the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, dropped from the converted B29 Enola Gay, marked the collapse of Japan. Commonly the U.S. Air Force warned with leaflets before air strikes. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the destruction came without notice. The inhabitants even looked at the skys, where only a few planes appeared.Only one carried the deadly cargo. On 6 August 1945, the nuclear age began with the death of 100,000 people.

Flying B29 Superfortress in colour
The first production B29s were painted, but this was soon abandoned, because they were to fast and flying to high for the Japanese interceptors.


Boeing B29 Superfortress
Type
long-range and high-altitude heavy bomber
Power plant

4 x 2,200hp Wright R-3350-23 Duplex Cyclone 18-cylinder radials each with two exhaust-driven turbochargers

Accommodation
10 - 14
Wing span
141 ft 3 in
Length overall
99 ft
Height overall
27 ft 9 in
Weight empty
74,500 lb
Weight loaded
135,000 lb
Max level speed
357 mph
at 30,000 ft
Cruising speed
290 mph
Climb to 25,000 ft
43 mins
Service ceiling
36,000 ft
Range (with 10,000 lb bomb load)
3,250 miles
Armament

Four GE twin-0.50 in machine guns [1100 rpm, velocity 2500 ft.sec] in turrets above and below, sighted from nose or three waist sighting stations.
Bell tail turret, with own gunner, with one 20mm cannon [800 rpm, velocity 2750 ft.sec] and twin 0.50in MG .

Internal bomb load up to 20,000 lb. With modifications carried one nuclear bomb or two 22,000 lb bombs externally under inner wings

First flight (prototype)
21 September 1942
Pre-production YB-29
26 June 1943
Service delivery
July 1943
First combat mission
5 June 1944
Termination of production
May 1946
Total production figure
3,970

3D model Boeing B29 Superfortress
3d model of B29 Superfortress


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