Wednesday Weapons – B-29 Superfortress

This is the bomber that ended WWII. A magnificant weapons platform. The most famous B-29 Superfortress is of course Enola Gay which dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima in Japan.

from Wikipedia

B-29 SuperfortressThe B-29 was one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II. A very advanced bomber for this time period, it included features such as a pressurized cabin, an electronic fire-control system, and remote-controlled machine-gun turrets. Though it was designed as a high-altitude daytime bomber, in practice it actually flew more low-altitude nighttime incendiary bombing missions. It was the primary aircraft in the American firebombing campaign against the Empire of Japan in the final months of World War II, and carried the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unlike many other WWII-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 type was finally retired in the early 1960s, with 3,960 aircraft in all built.

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 357 mph (310 knots, 574 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 220 mph (190 knots, 350 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 105 mph (91 knots, 170 km/h)
  • Combat range: 3,250 mi (2,820 nmi, 5,230 km)
  • Ferry range: 5,600 mi (4,900 nmi, 9,000 km, (record 5,839 mi, 5,074 nmi, 9,397 km))
  • Service ceiling: 33,600 ft (10,200 m)
  • Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 69.12 lb/sqft (337 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.073 hp/lb (121 W/kg)
  • Lift-to-drag ratio: 16.8

Armament

  • Guns:
    • 10× .50 in (12.7 mm) caliber Browning M2/ANs in remote controlled turrets
    • 2 x .50 in and 1× 20 mm M2 cannon in tail position (the cannon was eventually removed as it proved unreliable in service )
    • B-29B-BW – All armament and sighting equipment removed except for tail position; initially 2 x .50 in M2/AN and 1× 20 mm M2 cannon, later 3 x 2 x .50 in M2/AN with APG-15 gun-laying radar fitted as standard.
  • Bombs: 20,000 lb (9,000 kg) standard loadout

Top Ten Bombers: B-29 Super Fortress NO.3


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