B-29B-BA The 'Firebomber'

Hai hai,

Today’s suggestion is for the B-29B-BA, a variant of B-29 produced in 1945 until the end of the war in response to General Curtis LeMay’s demand for more ordnance to be dropped on Japan to coerce their military into surrender.

As the BA designation might suggest, the B-29B production fell in the hands of Bell Atlanta, based on Marietta near Robins AFB, who produced 311 known aircraft. The B model was stripped of all guns except for those in the tail, and subsequently stripped of armor at the former gunner stations to save weight which could be allocated to fuel and ordnance. The tail gun was also fitted with AN/APG-15B S Band radar fire control system, which could perform gun laying calculations and engage targets automatically. This allowed the crew to be reduced from 11 to a minimum of 7, though the aircraft usually carried 10 - commander, pilot, navigator, radar operator, bombardier, radio operator, flight engineer, tail gunner, and two scanners). The scanners were supposed to look out for other planes, both friendly and enemy.

The resulting B-29B could carry ordnance further than a standard B-29A, at higher altitudes where they could enjoy relative safety from Japanese fighters inside the peculiar Jetstream currents. Historians argue that the firebombing campaign carried out by these aircraft caused significantly more damage to the infrastructure of Japan than even the atomic bombings.

Two Marietta-built B-29s survive today: 44–84076, which is located at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Nebraska, and 44–84053, which is located at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA.

If you would be interested in this aircraft as a side grade to the well known B-29A, please consider up voting. Elsewise, hope you enjoyed this article. :)

Images:


Engines: Four Wright R-3350-41 Duplex Cyclone eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines each with two General Electric turbosuperchargers, delivering 2200 hp for takeoff with a war emergency rating of 2300 hp at 25,000 feet.
Performance: Maximum speed: 364 mph at 25,000 feet
Normal cruising speed: 210-225 mph
Maximum range: 4200 miles at 10,000 feet with full fuel load and 18,000-pound bombload. Practical operational radius 1800 miles. An altitude of 20,000 feet could be attained in 33 minutes at 110,000 pounds gross weight.
Fuel capacity: 6988 US gallons, the bomb bay tanks were not standard fit. Weights: 69,000 pounds empty, 137,000 pounds loaded with 18,000 pounds of bombs.
Dimensions: wingspan 141 feet 3 inches, length 99 feet 0 inches, height 27 feet 9 inches, wing area 1736 square feet.
Armament: two 0.50-inch machine guns in the tail, with provision for two 0.50-inch guns in the mid-fuselage pressurized area. Bombload was typically 20,000 pounds, although with a mix of high explosive and incendiaries, this could be increased to 22,800 pounds.

List of aircraft by serial number:

Spoiler

42-63581/63621 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-30-BA Superfortress
42-63622/63691 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-35-BA Superfortress
42-63692/63736 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress
42-63738/63743 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress
42-63745/63749 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress
42-63751 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress
44-83890/83893 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress
44-83895 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress
44-83896/83899 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83901/83903 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83905/83907 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83909/83910 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83912/83913 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83915/83916 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83918/83919 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83921/83922 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83924/83925 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83927 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83929 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83931 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83933 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83935 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83937 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83939 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83941/83944 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83946 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83948 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83950 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83952 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83954 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83956 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83958/83959 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83961 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress
44-83963 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83965 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83967 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83969 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83971 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83973 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83975 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83977 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83979 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83981 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83983 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83985 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83987 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83989 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83991 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83993 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83995 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83997 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-83999 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-84001 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-84003 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-84005 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-84007 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress
44-84009 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84011 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84013 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84015 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84017 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84019 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84021 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84023 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84025 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84027 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84029 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84031 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84033 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84035 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84037 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84039 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84041 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84043 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
converted to XB-29G jet engine test bed.
44-84045 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84047 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84049 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84051 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84053 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84055 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress
44-84057 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84059 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84061 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84063 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84065 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84067 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84069 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84071 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84073 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84075 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84077 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84079 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84081 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84083 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84085 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84087 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84089 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84091 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84093 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84095 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84097 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84099 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84101 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84103 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress
44-84105 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84107 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84109 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84111 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84113 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84115 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84117 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84119 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84121 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84123 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84125 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84127 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84129 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84131 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84133 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84135 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84137 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84139 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84141 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84143 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84145 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84147 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84149 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84151 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
44-84153 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress - cancelled
44-84155 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress

Sources:

https://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_bombers/b29_5.html

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