DESIGNED BY BOEING FOR LONG-DISTANCE AND HIGH-ALTITUDE OPERATION FOR USE BY THE U.S. ARMY AIR FORCE IN WORLD WAR II, THE B-29 WAS THE MOST ADVANCED BOMBER OF ITS ERA.
The B-29 was a four-engined propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing for long distance and high altitude operation for use by the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II. It was first flown in September, 1942 and was the most advanced bomber of its era.
Features included a pressurized cabin, an electronic fire-control system and remote controlled machine gun turrets. A total of 3,970 planes were built by Boeing in Wichita, Kansas and Renton, Washington, Bell Aircraft in Georgia, and the Glenn L. Martin Co. in Nebraska with production ending in 1946.
To take a virtual panoramic tour of the plane's cockpit, click here.
The “Superfortress” was primarily used in the Pacific War, culminating in its use in the dropping of the world's first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945 which led to the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II.
The planes and crews were again called into service in the Korea Conflict between 1950 and 1953 and battled the new foes of jet fighters and electronic weapons.
The final B-29 left service in September, 1960. Currently, there are now only two flying B-29 examples remaining: Named “Fifi,” and “Doc.”
“IT JUST BLEW MY MIND. FIRST OF ALL ITS SIZE, AND THEN ITS CAPABILITIES. AND TO THINK THAT THEY COULD TAKE AN AIRPLANE, A BOMBER, AND PRESSURIZE IT SO THAT WE COULD FEEL THE SAME AT SEA LEVEL AS WE DO AT 30,000 FEET.”
Did you know?
The B-29 was in production for 3 years (1943-1946) and the need for massive numbers of them quickly disappeared when WWII ended. Many went straight from the production line into storage and were eventually scrapped.
The B-29 Super-fortress was a technological marvel of it's time– larger, faster, and with more range than any other bomber. It also featured the first ever pressurized bomber cabin, and an early computer to control the remote guns.
Value for the money
The most expensive project of WWII at $41 billion in 2018 dollars. For reference, that's the entire budget of Belgium’s armed forces for the next ten years combined. Today, a single b-29 could buy you 450 brand new Ford Focus cars, with free servicing!
The 58th Bombardment Wing Memorial
Our B-29 is the centerpiece of the Museum's 58th Bomb Wing Memorial exhibit. The 58th Bombardment Wing merits an elite place in American history having played a key role in the defeat of the Japanese Empire in World War II. Starting in Kansas where they tested and trained to fly the B-29, a new and unproven aircraft, to the final bombing mission against Japan, they proved their courage and dedication in the most difficult of conditions -- conquering the searing heat of India, “flying the hump” over the perilous Himalayas, operating from forward bases in China, and finally on the Pacific island of Tinian -- to defeat a fierce and determined enemy.