B-29 Superfortress

Forever linked with the nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Boeing B-29 represented a quantum leap in aviation technology, and finally gave the US the “superbomber” that had been desired since the abortive XB-15 and XB-19. There were many preliminary designs from Boeing, and by the time the actual XB-29 prototype first flew in September 1942, it was quite a different aircraft than first conceived. There were many development and production hurdles to overcome, but by the end of the war a great mass of Superforts operating from the Marianas were at work against Japanese targets. Postwar, B-29s would form the backbone of the USAF’s Strategic Air Command until the early 1950s, and would also serve as refueling tankers, reconnaissance aircraft, and motherships up until 1960, with developed B-50 versions lasting for several years after that.

 

B-29 Superfortress tail turret

Tail turret of the B-29 Bockscar, at NMUSAF. The tail guns were the only defensive armament retained on the Silverplate B-29s.

Bockscar nose

Wright R-3350

B-29 Enola Gay

B-29 Enola Gay model

B-29 Bibliography

Photo: “Pressurized Tail Cabins For B-29” Aviation News September 11, 1944 p.36

Photo: color close-up of the tail of B-29 26340 Flying February 1945 p.66

Photo: B-29 45-21752 during Project Ruby. Flight May 30, 1946 p.538. This aircraft dropped British Grand Slam bombs on the former German U-Boat pens at Farge. There is also a photo of a Grand Slam being loaded into a Superfortress from a pit.

“Superforts with Roundels” Flight 30 March 1950 p.392-393 delivery of ex-USAF B-29s to the RAF

“The Versatile B-29″ Maurice F. Allward Flight 17 August 1950. Photos include the XB-29G with GE turbojet for testing.

Photo: “Lockheed X-17 With Booster” Aviation Week April 15, 1957 front cover

Photo: B-29A 44-16748 G-BHDK being prepared for delivery to the Imperial War Museum. Air Pictorial March 1980 p.115

Color profiles by John Weal, including a Washington B Mk.1, 468th BW in olive drab camo, 58th BW, 73rd BW, and a resupply & communications squadron aircraft with black undersides and tail. Air International April 1985 p.200

“Lowry Superfort Progress” Warbirds International Summer 1987 p.20-21 restoration of ex-China Lake airframe.

Tim Dunn “Warbird Profile: Boeing B-29 Superfortress” Combat Aircraft May 1998 2 photos (CAF “FiFi”)

“CAF Superfortress Back in the Air” Aeroplane October 2010 p.9

Lindsay Peacock “Boeing B-29…First of the Superbombers Pt. 1” Air International August 1989 Includes a picture of the first XB-29, a color cutaway illustration of the forward compartment, and a large B-29 cutaway drawing.

“Superfortress Rescue!” FlyPast June 1998 p.15 44-69972 at China Lake, without vertical tail.

Jan Maes “Arctic Spy” Airfix Model World #18 Building an RAF ELINT aircraft from the Academy 1/72 B-29A kit.

David Donald, editor American Airplanes of World War II ISBN 0-7607-2274-9  p.28-31 B-29 cutaway illustration, color 3-view of B-29A The Big Stick

 

Boeing Model 322 Superfortress predecessor “What If”   

Boeing Model 464-17 “what if” – Not quite a Stratofortress, but no longer a Superfortress 

 

Review:Warbird Tech #7: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

 

B-17 models of the Kettering Model Collection