Boeing B-29 Superfortress

 

1st Flight 1942

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is an American four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing and flown primarily by the United States during World War II and the Korean War.

Named in allusion to its predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress, the Superfortress was designed for high-altitude strategic bombing but also excelled in low-altitude night incendiary bombing and in dropping naval mines to blockade Japan.

B-29s dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and became the only aircraft that has ever used nuclear weapons in combat.

The B.29 was called the B.1 Washington in RAF & RAAF service post war.

Variants

XB-29, YB-29, B-29, B-29A, B-29B, B-29C, B-29D (XB-44)

Test beds

XB-29E, XB-29F, XB-29G, XB-29H, YB-29J, YKB-29J, RB-29J, KB-29 Tanker Development, EB-29, RB-29J (RB-29, FB-29J, F-13, F-13A), SB-29, TB-29, WB-29

Airborne Early Warning

MX-767 Banshee, Navy P2B patrol bomber.

Other Types

XB-39 – single YB-29 modified to use water-cooled Allison V-3420-17 Vee type engines.

Tupolev Tu-4 – In 1945, three B-29s were forced to land in Soviet territory after a bombing raid on Japan because of lack of fuel, Seeking a modern long-range bomber, Joseph Stalin ordered the Tupolev OKB to reverse-engineer the Superfortress.

KJ-1 AEWC – The People’s Liberation Army Air Force of China attempted to use the Tu-4 airframe in the KJ-1 AWACS aircraft.

B-50 Superfortress – A post–World War II revision of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, it was fitted with more powerful Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial engines, stronger structure, a taller tail fin, and other improvements.

Specifications

B-29

Crew: 11

Length: 99 ft 0 in (30.18 m)

Wingspan: 141 ft 3 in (43.05 m)

Height: 27 ft 9 in (8.46 m)

Wing area: 1,736 sq ft (161.3 m2)

Aspect ratio: 11.5

Airfoil: root: Boeing 117 (22%); tip: Boeing 117 (9%)

Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0241

Frontal area: 41.16 sq ft (3.824 m2)

Empty weight: 74,500 lb (33,793 kg)

Gross weight: 120,000 lb (54,431 kg)

Max take-off weight: 133,500 lb (60,555 kg)

135,000 lb (61,000 kg) combat overload

Powerplant: 4 × Wright R-3350-23 Duplex-Cyclone 18-cylinder air-cooled turbo supercharged radial piston engines, 2,200 hp (1,600 kW) each

Propellers: 4-bladed constant-speed fully-feathering propellers, 16 ft 7 in (5.05 m) diameter

Performance

Maximum speed: 357 mph (575 km/h, 310 kn)

Cruise speed: 220 mph (350 km/h, 190 kn)

Stall speed: 105 mph (169 km/h, 91 kn)

Range: 3,250 mi (5,230 km, 2,820 nmi)

Ferry range: 5,600 mi (9,000 km, 4,900 nmi)

Service ceiling: 31,850 ft (9,710 m) [28]

Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)

Lift-to-drag: 16.8

Wing loading: 69.12 lb/sq ft (337.5 kg/m2)

Power/mass: 0.073 hp/lb (0.120 kW/kg)

Armament

Guns:

8 or 10× .50 in (12.7 mm) Browning M2/ANs in remote-controlled turrets.[89] (omitted from Silverplate B-29s)

2× .50 BMG and 1× 20 mm M2 cannon in tail position (the cannon was later removed)

Bombs:

5,000 lb (2,300 kg) over 1,600 mi (2,600 km; 1,400 nmi) radius at high altitude

12,000 lb (5,400 kg) over 1,600 mi (2,600 km; 1,400 nmi) radius at medium altitude

20,000 lb (9,100 kg) maximum over short distances at low altitude

Could be modified to carry two 22,000 lb (10,000 kg) Grand Slam bombs externally.

The Silverplate version delivered the first atomic bombs.

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