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BOEING B-29 SUPERFORTRESS



   One of the most involved designs developed during the war. The B-29 suffered a few teething problems, including a catastrophic loss of a prototype, before evolving into a devastating bombing platform.

   The B-29 entered combat on June 5, 1944 with the 58th Bomb Wing. By 1945 20 groups operated from the Marianas and were sending streams of 500 bombers to flatten Japan. Several of these aircraft made emergency landings in Soviet territories, the Soviets then reverse engineered them to produce the Tu-4 bomber and later developed the Tu-70 transport.

   Probably the most famous, or infamous depending on your viewpoint, use of the B-29 was in the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945.

   The B-29C had all the guns except the tail armament removed, increasing speed and altitude. Several variants were produced after the war, including the WB-29 which was used for weather research.

   The RAF flew the type as the Washington B.1 from 1950 to 1958.

Type: High-Altitude Heavy Bombing
Origin: Boeing
Models: Model 345, B-29 to B-29C
Crew: Ten to Fourteen
First Flight: September 21, 1942
Squadron Delivery: July 1943
Combat Debut: June 5, 1944
Final Delivery: May 1946
Production: 3,000+

Powerplant:
  Model: Wright R-3350-23 Duplex Cyclone
  Type: 18-cylinder radials with 2 turbine driven
     turbochargers
  Number: Four       Horsepower: 2,200

Dimensions:
  Wing Span: 141 ft. 3 in. (43.05m)
  Length: 99 ft. (30.2m)
  Height: 27 ft. 9 in. (8.46m)
  Wing Area: N/A
Weights:
  Empty: 74,500 lb. (33,795 kg.)
  Loaded: 135,000 lb. (61,240 kg.)

Performance:
  Max. Speed: 357 mph (575 km/h)
  Cruising Speed: 290 mph (467 km/h)
  Climb to 25,000 ft. (7620m): 43 minutes
  Service Ceiling: 36,000 ft. (10,973 m)
  Range (With 10,000 lb. bombload):
      3,250 miles (5230 km)

Armament:
Four GE Twin 0.50 in. in turrets above and below.
  -Sighted from nose or three waist sighting stations.
Bell tail turret with one 20mm cannon and
    two 0.50 machine guns.

Bomb Load:
Internal load of 20,000 lb. (9072 kg.)

Image Gallery

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Sources:
Gunston, Bill - The Encyclodepia of the Worlds Combat aircraft, 1976, Chartwell Books, Inc., New York

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