Boeing B-29 Superfortress

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber that was flown primarily by the United States in World War II and the Korean War. The B-29 remained in service in various roles throughout the 1950s. The British Royal Air Force flew the B-29 and used the name Washington for the type, and the Soviet Union produced an unlicensed copy as the Tupolev Tu-4. The name "Superfortress" was derived from that of its well-known predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress. The B-29 was the progenitor of a series of Boeing-built bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, trainers and tankers including the B-29 variant, B-50 Superfortress. The later, jet powered B-47 Stratojet and the B-52 Stratofortress carried on the lineage.

The B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II. A very advanced bomber for this time period, it included features such as a pressurized cabin, an electronic fire-control system, and remote-controlled machine-gun turrets.

Though it was designed as a high-altitude daytime bomber, in practice it actually flew more low-altitude nighttime incendiary bombing missions. It was the primary aircraft in the American firebombing campaign against the Empire of Japan in the final months of World War II, and carried the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unlike many other WWII-era bombers, the B-29 remained in service long after the war ended, with a few even being employed as flying television transmitters for the Stratovision company. The type was finally retired in the early 1960s, with 3,960 aircraft in all built.

The most famous B-29 is the "Enola Gay", which dropped the atomic bomb 'Little Boy' on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, and "The Bockscar", another B-29, dropped 'Fat Man' on Nagasaki three days later. These two actions, along with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on 9 August 1945, brought about the Japanese surrender, and the official end of World War II.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 11
  • Length: 99 ft 0 in (30.18 m)
  • Wingspan: 141 ft 3 in (43.06 m)
  • Height: 29 ft 7 in (8.5 m)
  • Wing area: 1,736 sq ft (161.3 m²)
  • Empty weight: 74,500 lb (33,800 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 120,000 lb (54,000 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 133,500 lb (60,560 kg) ; 135,000 lb plus combat load
  • Powerplant: 4× Wright R-3350-23 and 23A turbosupercharged radial engines, 2,200 hp (1,640 kW) each
  • Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0241
  • Drag area: 41.16 ft² (3.82 m²)
  • Aspect ratio: 11.50

  • Maximum speed: 357 mph (310 knots, 574 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 220 mph (190 knots, 350 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 105 mph (91 knots, 170 km/h)
  • Combat range: 3,250 mi (2,820 nmi, 5,230 km)
  • Ferry range: 5,600 mi (4,900 nmi, 9,000 km, (record 5,839 mi, 5,074 nmi, 9,397 km)
  • Service ceiling: 33,600 ft (10,200 m)
  • Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 69.12 lb/sqft (337 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.073 hp/lb (121 W/kg)
  • Lift-to-drag ratio: 16.8

  • 10× .50 in (12.7 mm) caliber Browning M2/ANs in remote controlled turrets
  • 2 x .50 in and 1× 20 mm
  • 3 x 2 x .50 in M2/AN with APG-15 gun-laying radar fitted as standard.
  • 20,000 lb (9,000 kg) bombs, standard loadout

** Boeing B-29 Superfortress - Warbird Fare

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