Boeing YB-29, S/N 41-36957, the mother of gunships

Would you like to see this aircraft added ingame?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

How would you like to see it added?
  • As researchable/unlockable vehicles placed into the US techtree.
  • As AI controlled aircraft used on certain maps.
  • I’m not sure yet.
  • I said ‘No’ in the first question.

0 voters

Have you ever heard of or seen this B-29?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Hello everyone!

Today I’d like to suggest a very unique and rare aircraft. Say hello to the only bomber escort (Gunship) version of the B-29!

The aircraft in question is the YB-29, Serial number 41-36957.

Special thanks to @ solarmod for showing me this aircraft and letting me make a Forum post about it!

As you can see, this B-29 has a ton of added gunners to the nose and the sides of the aircraft.
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?


In 1941 there was a lack of effective long-range fighter escorts, so the US Army Air Corps decided that for each new bomber type, there should also be a escort variant available of that new bomber type.

Most of us are already familiar with the B-17 and B-24 Escort Gunship variants:

So when the B-29 first took to the skies in 1942, a Escort gunship variant of it would not be far behind. And so this aircraft was born in 1943. It was the fourth B-29 prototype/pre-serie, given the name YB-29.

The YB-29 Escort gunship was provided with a ton of extra weapons. These included:

  • An experimental ERCO nosemounted ball turret armed with two .50 cal M2 machine guns.
  • Four low profile, side mounted, remotelycontrolled Emerson Model 126 barbettes, with each being armed with two .50 cal M2 machine guns.
  • The four dorsal and ventral turrets had their weaponry increased by an extra 20mm autocannon, making each turret have two .50 cal M2 machine guns and a 20mm M2 autocannon.
  • And the tail gunner getting a significant upgrade in the form of a single 30mm autocannon.

The B-29 already had close to no blind spots when it came to the gunner positions, but this Gunship version would make sure that not a single aircraft would ever dare get close.

The tail gunner


Sadly when it comes to the 30mm autocannon I was unable to find out which exact type of gun it was. Looking at the photo below we can see that it’s quite a big barrel so maybe it was actually a 37mm autocannon. Also if you look closely there still seems to be an additional barrel just below the 30mm gun. Maybe the rear turret still had two .50 cal M2 machine guns in place on top of the 30mm gun.

But now comes a very interesting photo. The photo below has been sitting in a folder on my PC for a long time, and now I think it actually makes sense!

The tail number does not match, so it has to be a different B-29. But the gun itself looks very similar.

Yes the serial number does not match the YB-29 we’re talking about here, but that does not mean the YB-29 was the only B-29 tested with this large tail gun.

Also the one on the photo above is fitted with a muzzle. Which from what I can see on the YB-29, is not fitted.

The tail gunner setup seems to be some kind of 30/37mm autocannon, with 2 .50 cal machine guns also still being present.

A zoomed in photo of the ventral turret, note that the 20mm autocannon is mounted in the center with one .50 cal machine gun on each side of the 20mm

In the end his YB-29 recieved only cursory testing before the concept was abandoned.

The aircraft would later serve as a training aircraft with the nickname “Cross Country”.

B-29 S/N 42-24441 ingame


When we look at this aircraft from an ingame point of view we do run into one problem.

We currently do not have any Escort/Gunship aircraft in the game. Although it is not confirmed for this YB-29, I’m almost absolutely sure that it did not carry bombs of any type, and was only armed with defensive gunners.

Be sure to vote what your opinion on Gunship aircraft in the poll above!

But just for the fun of it, 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: 18 x 12.7mm M2, 4 x 20mm M2 & 1 x 30mm (Unknown type)

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 the “World War II US Gunships” book by William Wolf.
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.

Primairy source The story of Cross Country, the only YB-29 Bomber Escorter ever built - The Aviation Geek Club

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-17E "The Dreamboat", S/N 41-9112, perfecting a legend!

Boeing B-17G “West End”, S/N 42-31435
This B-17G has six .50 cal machineguns in the chin!


Boeing B-17G "West End", S/N 42-31435, fight me head-on, I dare you!

Consolidated B-24J-15-CO, S/N 42-73130
This B-24J has a…B-17G nose…


Consolidated B-24J-15-CO, S/N 42-73130, the Frankenrator

Boeing B-29-25-BW, S/N 42-24441
This B-29 has remote controlled nose gunners and much more!


Boeing B-29-25-BW, S/N 42-24441, pimp my B-29!


+1, sure why not?


Would add a lot of interesting gameplay and maybe allow bomber players a fighting chance of living past the first two minutes of a match (lol)! +1

1 Like

It would be a difficult addition since it cannot carry and payloads, it might make a decent AI gunship in battles, or a single player or custom exclusive, although unlikely, I support it (+1)

Cool as this would be, you are aware of the pitiful state of bombers in WT right now, right?

This might actually make for a fantastic strike plane in ARB, but the moment a biplane gets near it the tail will fall off. I had to vote no, because it will just end up collecting dust in everyone’s hangars.

Definite + 1.