- Yes, as a regular techtree vehicle.
- Yes, as a premium vehicle.
- Yes, as a event vehicle.
- Yes, as a squadron vehicle.
Today I’m suggesting a very weird and unique modification of the B-29.
The aircraft in question is the B-29-25-BW, Serial number 42-24441.
I know this photo is not the best, but it does give us a nice wide shot of the aircraft. Plus the Serial number can be seen on the rudder.
Better close up photos will be used throughout this post.
As you can see, this B-29 has some very interesting gunners. The two ball barbettes at the nose are it’s main feature, but do also note that the other gunners are manned turrets instead of remote controlled onces.
I must point out that concrete information/sources of these unique and rare modification are very scarce, so I will do my best to talk as much as I can about this aircraft.
So, what is this aircraft all about?
This B-29 was part of an experimental B-29 modification program called “Project S68”, which was a manned turret evaluation of B-29 type airplanes conducted in October 1944. The airplane used in the evaluation, B-29 42-24441, was re-designated as a B-29-25-BW. The airplane featured manned turrets in place of remote controlled turrets as found on standard production model B-29 airplanes.
One of the big differences was that the airplane featured remotely controlled forward firing Emmerson Model 136 “Jowl Barbettes” , one on each side of the nose and equipped with a single 50 cal in each barbette. The two turrets on the top of the airplane were now replaced with two manned Martin upper turrets . The airplane was also equipped with two Sperry ball turrets in place of the original ventral turrets, one was a Sperry A-2 Ball Turret mounted in the lower forward position and a modified Sperry A-13 ball turret in the lower aft position.
On top of that, the airplane was also equipped with flexible waist guns.
Can be seen in the image below, top left and bottom left photo.
The Martin upper turrets were electrically powered turrets that were armed with two 12.7mm machineguns.
This type of turret can also be found on the Consolidated B-24 Liberator and Douglas A-20 Havoc.
At this point we should all be familiar with the Sperry Ball Turret. It’s a very compact ventral turret that is, just like the Martin turret, electrically powered and is armed with two 12.7mm machineguns.
Like stated above, this B-29 uses two versions of this turret. It has a A-2 model at the front, and a A-13 model at the rear. The only difference between the two is that the A-13 can be reteracted into the fuselage.
This was done to avoid the turret from colliding with the ground when the aircraft was taking of or landing.
A common misconception
A very common misconception I see a lot on the internet is that people use photos of this B-29 when they are talking about the Boeing B-54 bomber.
I must point out however that these two aircraft are not the same.
This B-29 was build during wartime in October of 1944, while the development of the B-54 was only started in 1947. And on top of that the B-54 is based on the futher development of the B-29, the Boeing B-50 Superfortress.
Some people claim that the front view photo of this B-29 showing the Emmerson Model 136 “Jowl Barbettes” is the B-54 mockup. But that is not the case at all as shown in the photo below.
This photo here is the B-54 mockup, and as you can clearly see, it does not look the same as the B-29 in this post.
Another photo of the B-54 mockup showing the pointed glass nose, instead of the slightly more rounded one used on the B-29.
B-29 S/N 42-24441 ingame
I think this can be a very fun and unique B-29 variant to have ingame.
Let’s compare the B-29A-BN we have ingame with this one:
B-29A-BN: 12 x 12.7mm M2
B-29-25-BW S/N 42-24441: 14 x 12.7mm M2
As usual with these rare variants/field modifications, I can only see them working ingame as a premium, event vehicle or maybe as a squadron vehicle.
As a premium vehicle this would be a very common sight on the battlefield. It’s still a B-29, but in some regards, with better devensive weaponry.
But keep in mind that having a premium B-29 might not be such a good idea in many peoples eyes.
As a event vehicle we got ourselfes a highly wanted vehicle. In my opinion this aircraft has event vehicle screaming all over it.
This would be a must have collectors item for anyone who enjoys playing bomber aicraft. I could honestly see this working as a really nice Summer or Winter event vehicle.
As a squadron vehicle this could maybe work to. It would be a really nice vehicle to grind for with an active squadron. But on the other hand, people can just buy it with GE aswell, so I’m not sure everyone would agree with this.
Anyways that’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading about this wonderfull aircraft, and be sure to give your vote in the poll above!
This aircraft is mentioned in ‘B-29 Superfortress in detail and scale’ book by Alwyn T. Lloyd.
I sadly do not own this book, if you happen to have this book feel free to share the information that book has about this aircraft with us in the comment section.
From what I could find, this aircraft should be mentioned on page 62 and 63 of the book.
General information Warbird Information Exchange • View topic - Question for the B-29 experts
Martin upper turret MARTIN 250CE UPPER TURRET
Sperry ball turret THE SPERRY BALL TURRET
Other vehicles like this one
Boeing B-17E “The Dreamboat”, S/N 41-9112
This B-17E was part of a program to fix all the flaws of the B-17.
Boeing B-17G “West End”, S/N 42-31435
This B-17G has six .50 cal machineguns in the chin!
Consolidated B-24J-15-CO, S/N 42-73130
This B-24J has a…B-17G nose…
Boeing YB-29, S/N 41-36957
This B-29 was turned into an Escort Gunship!