17 Facts About B-29


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

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One of the largest aircraft of World War II, the B-29 was designed with state-of-the-art technology, which included a pressurized cabin, dual-wheeled tricycle landing gear, and an analog computer-controlled fire-control system that allowed one gunner and a fire-control officer to direct four remote machine gun turrets.

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B-29 was the progenitor of a series of Boeing-built bombers, transports, tankers, reconnaissance aircraft, and trainers.

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In 1948, Boeing introduced the KB-29 tanker, followed in 1950 by the Model 377-derivative KC-97.

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The B-29 featured a fuselage design with circular cross-section for strength.

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The need for pressurization in the cockpit area led to the B-29 being one of very few American combat aircraft of World War II to have a stepless cockpit design, without a separate windscreen for the pilots.

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Manufacturing the B-29 was a complex task that involved four main-assembly factories.

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Some facilities lacked hangars capable of housing the giant B-29, requiring outdoor work in freezing weather, further delaying necessary modification.

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General Electric Central Fire Control system on the B-29 directed four remotely controlled turrets armed with two.

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Air Force planning throughout 1942 and early 1943 continued to have the B-29 deployed initially against Germany, only transferring to the Pacific after the end of the war in Europe.

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One B-29 was lost, possibly the one damaged by Flt Lt Therdsak.

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On 14 April 1945, a second B-29 raid on Bangkok destroyed two key power plants and was the last major attack conducted against Thai targets.

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The B-29 effort was gradually shifted to the new bases in the Mariana Islands in the Central Pacific, with the last B-29 combat mission from India flown on 29 March 1945.

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Production of the B-29 was phased out after WWII, with the last example completed by Boeing's Renton factory on 28 May 1946.

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B-29 gunners were credited with shooting down 27 enemy aircraft.

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Variants of the B-29 were outwardly similar in appearance but were built around different wing center sections that affected the wingspan dimensions.

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The B-29 that dropped Fat Man on Nagasaki, Bockscar, is restored and on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.

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