Warplanes / USA
Boeing B-29 Superfortress

Boeing B-29 Superfortress 

Design of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber started in 1940 to meet a US Army Air Corps requirement for a 'Hemisphere Defense Weapon', an aircraft capable of carrying 907kg (2,000 lb) of bombs for 8582km (5,333 miles) at 644 km/h (400 mph); only after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor put an end to trie USA's isolationism was the project given top priority, and the first XB-29 was flown on 21 September 1942. The very big four-engine mid-wing bomber had by then been ordered in large numbers and in 1943 the decision was taken to deploy the B-29 only, against Japan, concentrating the new bombers in the XX Bomber Command on bases in India and China. The first YB-29 service test aircraft were delivered to the 58th Bomb Wing in July 1943 and were followed by B-29-BW production bombers three months later. Production was concentrated at Boeing, Wichita (BW), Bell, Marietta (BA), Martin, Omaha (MO), and a new Boeing-run factory at Renton (BN). Four groups of B-29s moved to India early in 1944, making their first raid on Bangkok on 5 June, and on the Japanese mainland 10 days later. For the first nine months the B-29s were principally employed in high-level daylight raids, but on 9 March 1945, when operations were run primarily from five vast bases in the Marianas islands, they switched to low-level night attacks with devastating incendiary raids on Japanese cities (the first of which on Tokyo caused 80,000 deaths). Two other main versions of the B-29 appeared during the war, the B-29A-BN with four-gun forward upper turret and increased wing span, and the B-29B-BA with reduced
gun armament and increased bombload. The B-29-45-MOs£/iola Gay and Bock's Car of the 393rd Bomb Squadron dropped the atomic bombs 'Little Boy' and 'Fat Man' on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945 respectively, bringing the war to an end. Total B-29 production was 3,970.

Specification Boeing B-29A Superfortress

Type: 10-crew heavy strategic bomber
Powerplant: four 1641-kW (2,200-hp) Wright R-3350-57 radial piston engines
Performance: maximum speed 576 km/h (358 mph) at 7620m (25,000 ft); climb to 6095 m (20,000 ft) in 38 minutes; service ceiling 9695 m (31,800 ft); range 6598 km (4,100 miles)
Weights: empty 32369 kg (71,360 lb); maximum take-off 64003 kg (141,100 lb)
Dimensions: span 43.36 m (142 ft 3 in); length 30.18 m (99 ft 0 in); height 9,01 m (29 ft 7 in); wing area 161.27 m2 (1,736.0 sq ft)
Armament: four-gun turret over nose, two-gun turrets under nose, under and over rear fuselage, all with guns of 12.7-mm (0.5-in) calibre, and one 20mm and two 12.7-mm (0.5-in) guns in tail, plus a bombload of up to 9072 kg (20,000 lb)
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