Boeing B29 Superfortress

Boeing B29 Superfortress

The Boeing B29 Superfortress was the largest bomber to enter service in World War Two. B29's played a major part in the overall bombing campaign in the Far East and two B29 Superfortress bombers ('Enola Gay' and 'Bockscar') took part in the atomic bomb raids on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.


The 'Enola Gay' - a B29 Superfortress

The B29 weighed over 60 tons and its Wright Cyclone air-cooled radial engines were considered to be the most powerful of the time developing 2,2000 hp in each engine. The four engines gave it just under 9,000 hp. The B29 was the first production aircraft to have fully pressurised crew compartments for its eleven crew. The B29 was also the first plane to have a central gunnery-control system operated by remote control. For all its firsts in terms of plane design, the B29 was rushed into service and contained a number of design faults that had to be corrected as more and more were produced.

The B29 was designed to fly at 400 mph when it was not loaded. It was able to fly at 30,000 feet and to carry a 2000 lb bomb load 5,000 miles. However, on smaller distances, the B29 was capable of carrying sixteen 500lb bombs in its after bomb bay and another sixteen 500lb bombs in its forward bomb bay. 

It has massive armaments: ten .50 inch machine guns in turrets in both its upper and lower fuselage. In later models, the B29's forward upper turret had a four gun battery and a 20 mm cannon supplemented the tail gun. Each gun was served by a 1,000 round bullet belt. 

MLA Citation/Reference

"Boeing B29 Superfortress". 2014. Web.

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