Interesting film on the B-29 Superfortress
The B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber, designed by Boeing. That was flown primarily by the United States toward the end of World War II and during the Korean War. It was one of the largest aircraft to see service in World War II, and a very advanced bomber for its time, with features such as a pressurized cabin, an electronic fire-control system, and remote-controlled machine-gun turrets.
The name “Superfortress” was derived from that of its well-known predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress. Though the B-29 was designed as a high-altitude daytime bomber, it was used extensively in low-altitude night-time incendiary bombing missions. It was the primary aircraft used in the American firebombing campaign against the Empire of Japan in the final months of World War II and was used to carry out the atomic bombings that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unlike many other World War II-era bombers, the B-29 remained in service long after the war ended, with a few even being employed as flying television transmitters for the Stratovision company.
The B-29 served in various roles throughout the 1950s. The Royal Air Force flew the B-29 and used the name Washington for the type, replacing them in 1953 with the Canberra jet bomber, and the Soviet Union produced an unlicensed reverse-engineered copy as the Tupolev Tu-4. The B-29 was the progenitor of a series of Boeing-built bombers, transports, tankers, reconnaissance aircraft and trainers including the B-50 Superfortress (the first aircraft to fly around the world non-stop) which was essentially an enlarged and re-engined B-29. The type was finally retired in the early 1960s, with 3,970 aircraft in all built. While dozens of B-29s have survived through today as static displays, only one, “Fifi,“remains on active flying status.
Boeing began work on pressurized long-range bombers in 1938, when, in response to a United States Army Air Corps request, it produced a design study for the Model 334, a pressurized derivative of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress with nosewheel undercarriage. Although the Air Corps did not have money to pursue the design, Boeing continued development with its own funds as a private venture, so that when, in December 1939, the Air Corps issued a formal specification for a so-called “superbomber”, capable of delivering 20,000 lb. (9,100 kg) of bombs to a target 2,667 mi (4,290 km) away and capable of flying at a speed of 400 mph (640 km/h), they formed a starting point for Boeing’s response.
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WARNING MAY CONTAIN IMAGES DISTURBING TO SOME VIEWERS
The Birth of the B-29 World War II bomber (1945) Museum of Military Memorabilia