B-29 Superfortress

us flagUS long-range and high-altitude heavy bomber B-29 Superfortress from Boeing.

first production B-29s

The first production B-29s were painted, but this was soon abandoned, because they were to fast and flying to high for the Japanese interceptors.

Boeing Model 345 B-29 Superfortress
High-altitude heavy long-range and atomic bomber.


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.

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, pressurization, armament airborne systems and even basic structure the B-29 set a wholly new standard.

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 B-29C had all guns except those in the tail removed, increasing speed and altitude. After the war there were 19 variants of B-29, not including the Washington B.I supplied to help the RAF in 1950-58.

Pictures about B-29 Superfortress

Data for Boeing B-29 Superfortress

Technical data
Boeing B-29 Superfortress data
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 3,250 miles (with 10,000 lb bomb load)
Boeing B-29 Superfortress data
Turrets 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 and one 20mm cannon (800 rpm, velocity 2750 ft.sec])and twin 0.50in MG
Bomb load Internal up to 20,000 lb. With modifications carried one nuclear bomb or two 22,000 lb bombs externally under inner wings
Service statistics
Boeing B-29 Superfortress data
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

Animated 3D model of B-29 Superfortress

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