Boeing B-29 Superfortress

One of the greatest airplanes of WWII

Boeing B 29 Superfortress
photo: wallycacsabre

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was a US 4-engine propeller bomber. It was designed by Boeing and was used throughout the Korean War as well as World War II. This aircraft is considered as one of the greatest airplanes of WWII, having an analog computer-managed bombing configuration and advanced technology for the time.

Manufacturer:
Boeing
Country:
United States
Manufactured:
1943 to: 1946
ICAO:
B29
Price:
US$0.64 million (1943)

Specifications

Avionics:
Engine:
4x Wright R-3350-23 Duplex-Cyclone
Piston
Power:
2,200 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed:
317 knots
587 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
91 knots
Travel range:
5,066 Nautical Miles
9,382 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
31,850 feet
Rate of Climb:
900 feet / minute
4.57metre / second
Take Off Distance:
Landing Distance:
Max Take Off Weight:
61,000 Kg
134,481 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
Max Payload:
10,000 Kg
22,046 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
9,548 gallon
36,143 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
11 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
30.18 metre - 99.01 feet
Tail height:
8.46 metre - 27.76 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
2.9 metre - 9.51 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
43.05 metre - 141.24 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets
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Description

Development and Production

The US Army Air Corps claimed that this aircraft would be the core strategic American bomber during World War II. They concluded that it would be scanty for the Pacific Theater as it required a bomber to transmit a bigger payload above 3,000 miles. In response to this conclusion, Boeing started working on pressurized long-array bombers. 

In 1938, he designed a study for the prototype called Model 334. It was a pressurized derivative of the original version, with muzzle wheel undercarriage. Even though the Air Corps had financial concerns to continue the design, Boeing pursued this masterpiece using its own funds. 

In 1939, Lindbergh persuaded General Arnold to manufacture a new bomber in huge numbers to fight the production of the German. In the same year, the Air Corps released a formal “super bomber” specification that could transport 20,000 lbs of bombs to a target 4,292 kilometers away with a maximum speed of 640 kilometers per hour. 

Cockpit / Flight Deck 

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was a middle-wing solo-plane design centered on a cylindrical fuselage. It was powered by four immense air-cooled radial piston engines. This aircraft can accommodate almost ten personnel, usually navigators, pilots, bombardiers, dedicated gunners, and specialists. The majority of the weapon systems were electrically operated and mounted in the tail, ventral, dorsal gun positions. This design represented a huge departure from several bomb protections during the fight.  

Versions / Variants

The versions of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress were externally identical in appearance. However, they differ in the built wing center areas, often affected by the dimensions of the wingspan. The annex of the Renton B-29A-BN has several subassembly procedures.  The Georgia B-29B-BA, on the other hand, considered less through weapon reduction. A designed C series with more unswerving R-3350s was not developed. 

In addition, engine packages altered, including the range of the flexible pitch and kind of propellers. The other distinctions came about through an advanced device for diverse mission roles. Some of these roles include rescue aircraft, aerial tankers, trainers, weather ships, and cargo carriers. 

Applications

The converted and modified models of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress were used primarily for the training of the crew, as dedicated Search and Rescue schemes. 

Notable Accidents and Incidents

In 1944, the crash of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress was reported near Clovis, Mexico. Based on the report, fifteen crew members were found killed during the incident. Six years after, another accident was reported. The Boeing B-29 Superfortress departed the Air Force Base of Kirtland and crashed into a mountain a few minutes after its take-off.  

In 1950, an explosive-laden Boeing B-29 Superfortress crashed into an uptown place in California. The news reported that 17 were killed and 68 were injured during the said incident.

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