The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was a long-range, strategic bomber used by the USAF and the British Royal Air Force in the last year of the Second World War. It also saw combat action in the Korean War. Compared to its predecessors, the B-29 was an advanced heavy bomber as it had electronic fire control system, and pressurized cabin, which made the plane able to flight at altitudes that no other bombers had flown before. It was two of these bombers that carried and dropped the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, 1945, putting an end to World War II; the Enola Gay and Bockscar respectively.
The B-29 Superfortress was designed and manufactured by boeing. It flew for the first time as a prototype in 1942 and entered service in May 1944. From 1943 to 1946 3,970 units were built. After World War II it remained in service until 1960 when it was permanently retired. The B-29 was powered by four Wright R-3350-23 and 23A turbosupercharged radial engines (2,200 hp each). It could reach a maximum speed of 357 mph and had a range of 3,250 miles. Its service ceiling was 33,800 ft. The B-29 had a rate of climb of 900 ft/m. It had a wingspan of 141 ft 3in and a length of 99 ft. The crew were composed of 11 men.
The B-29 Superfortress was armed with ten 12,7 mm Browning M2 machine guns, located in turrets and operated by remote control; two 20 mm cannons, which were located in tail position. It could carry up to 20,000 lb of bombs. Taking off from airfields in China and the Pacific islands, the B-29 was intensively used in the Pacific Theater of operations to bomb Japanese targets such as military bases, industrial centers, and civilian population, using incendiary bombs. In the 1950s, after the Korean War, the B-29 was partially replaced by the Convair B-36 Peacemaker.
Type: long-range bomber
Wingspan: 43 m
Length: 30.18 m
Height: 8.45 m
Wing area: 161.3 m2
Maximum speed: 357 mph
Range: 5,600 miles
B-29 Superfortress in Action (WWII footage)