The B-29 was the first effective long distance bomber in the world en was designed from 1940 as model 345 to fill the need of the US Army Air Corps plan for a ‘hemisphere defense’ bomber.
The design was extremely advanced with a pressurized cabin, remote controlled defense weapons, an enormous offensive bomb load and very high performance under which a very high service ceiling.
The first of three prototypes flew in September 1942 with four Wright R-3550 ‘star-engines’ each equipped with a turbo charger. In the same time Boeing had contracts for more than 1500 production bombers.
The XB-29‘s were followed by 14 YB-29 pre-production airframes; the first of these 14 flew in June 1943.
A huge effort was made to get the super fortresses in use, and a much extended network of subcontractors supplied parts to four assembly-plants. The type became operational in time to be used in the Second World War, and play a very important role in the campaigns against Japan which ended in August 1945 with the drop of two atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Approx 2848 B-29‘s were completed with 1122 B-29A‘s that had a slightly lager wing-span and modernized defensive weaponry and 311 B-29B‘s without defensive weapons, but with a radar guided tail barbette. Later this type was redesigned for recon an experimental tasks and was later refitted with a heavier construction and Pratt & Whitney R-4360 engines as the B-29D which came in production as the B-50A.
|Boeing B-29A Super fortress|
|Developing Nation:||United States|
|First Flight(s):||September 1942|
|Wing Span:||43,05 m|
|Weight empty:||32.369 kg.|
|Weight Max. Load:||62.823 kg.|
|Engine (s):||four 1640 kW Wright R-3350-23 Cyclone Eighteen radial engines, air cooled.|
|Max. Speed:||576 Kph. at sea-level|
|Max. Height:||9708 m.|
|Max. Range:||6598 km.|
|Weapons:||– one 20 mm. canon- twelve 12,7 mm machineguns
– Max. 9072 kg. bombs.