Washington B.1 - the British Superfortress

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Introduction and History

The B-29 Superfortress stands as one of the most iconic aircraft of World War II, renowned for its role in the Pacific theater, most notably in the bombing campaigns against Imperial Japan. Developed by Boeing, the B-29 was designed to meet specifications for a high-altitude strategic bomber capable of carrying massive bomb loads over long distances. Its development began in the early 1940s, with the first flight occurring in 1942. However, it wasn’t until 1944 that the B-29 entered active service. The B-29 was the single most expensive development of the war.

The B-29 was equipped with state-of-the-art features for its time, such as pressurized cabins and remote-controlled defensive gun turrets. Its operational range allowed it to conduct missions from bases in the Pacific, easily reaching targets in Japan that were previously out of range. The B-29’s most infamous missions include the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, which ultimately led to Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II.

Following WW2, in 1950, the B-29 was acquired by the UK through the NATO Mutual Aid Defence Pact, and became known in RAF service as the Washington B.1. The US was mothballing large quantities of aircraft at this time, and Britain needed a bomber with a longer operational range than the Lincoln, so the arrangement was indeed mutually beneficial. 87 operational Washington B.1s served as a vital component of Britain’s bomber fleet during the early Cold War era. Deployed for reconnaissance missions, maritime patrols, and strategic bombing exercises, the Washington B.1 contributed significantly to the RAF’s deterrence strategy in the nascent stages of the Cold War before being replaced in 1954 by more advanced jet-powered bombers.

Specifications

Spoiler

Crew: 8 - 10 (Washingtons operated with 1 - 3 less crew members than B-29s)
Powerplant: Four 2200hp Wright Cyclonje R-3350 Radial Engines
Span: 43.05m
Length: 30.17m
Height:8.46m
Weight (empty): 33793kg
Weight (max. load): 61236kg
Max. speed: 575kph
Climb rate: 4.6m/s
Maximum ordnance load: 9072kg (20 000lbs)
Armament: 12x .50 M2 Browning machine guns

Images

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Washington B.1_1

Washington B.1_2

Washington B.1_4

Washington B.1_5

Washington B.1_7

Washington B.1_9

Washington B.1_10

Sources

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https://www.britishpathe.com/asset/70362/

Washington Times Issues 1 - 20 (available here)

192 Squadron Washingtons by Dave Forster  - RAFWatton.uk

Washingtons

https://www.destinationsjourney.com/historical-military-photographs/boeing-b-29-washington-b-1-in-raf-service/

May 2020: Washington B.1 – 15 photos | RAF in Combat

7 Likes

So it just B-29, but for Brits? Meh, they already have their own strat bombers, don’t see adding them one more (maybe as a prem or event vehicle, but doubtful. Even more with the state of high BR bombers)

3 Likes

I was making my own Washington B.1 suggestion which I have been working on in the background for months but damn you beat me too it xD.

Absolute +1 FARRRR Over Due!!!

The Washington B Mk.1 was put forward by moderators and devs in 2013/14 long before the Tu-4 was suggested to be added. However somehow both Russia and China have been given Tu-4’s before Britain has gained it’s own Washington B Mk.1.

The Washington was a major linear stepping stone between the Avro Lincoln and Canberra/V-Bombers. Having it missing in the tech tree just like all the other Bombers for Britain that came before the Jaguar, Tornado and such is confusing to say the least.

We had around 60-90 Washington B Mk.1’s in our RAF from 1949 until 51/53. However some were kept until the 1960’s as they where used as equipment test beds for the RAF.

This would majorly be a step in the right direction for Britain to get a Bomber on the same playingfield as the other major nations, and is a closer step to further jet bombers that have been passed to the developers.



7 Likes

And yes that is an original RAF Application advertising the Washington B Mk.1 to RAF Recruits in that Aeromodeller Booklet in 1952.

2 Likes

The Shackleton though a great aircraft has not got the payload capacity to go toe-to-toe as it where with other nations as it is lacking 5,000lbs of payload in comparison. Especially in defensive armament. So this would be a nice continuation/filling out of the bomber line gaps.

And I do have to say if the Washington B Mk.1 doesn’t become a tech tree vehicle I will be very disappointed in not having the clear chronological lineage of bombers in the RAF present ingame for us to enjoy.

3 Likes

If you are 14-17 — and keen — joint he Air Training Corps

omg xD

ATC = Air Training Corpse is the Air Cadets in the UK.

It is the Civilian Training Arm of the RAF below the ages of 18. At 18 you can decide to just leave or continue by applying to Join the RAF.

They operate the same way the Sea Cadets (Royal Navy) and Army Cadets (Royal Army) do. (Just some differences between the services provided to under 18’s).

1 Like

Ok thats a bit better :D

Huge win for Bookscene, came in clutch with that absolute banger of a price. £3.99 from £12.95!!!

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@Sebbo_the_Plebbo May I mention you need to update your suggestion for payload and turrets.
With Payload being 20,000lbs just like the Normal B-29A and 12x12.7mm guns.
https://www.raf.mod.uk/what-we-do/our-history/air-historical-branch/regional-studies-post-coldwar-narratives/the-bomber-role-1945-1970/
^See Chapter 1, Page 4 of The RAF In The Post War Years: The Bomber Role 1945-1970 by Humphrey Wynn 1984.

^ I think you chaps may also find this interesting.

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@Sebbo_the_Plebbo i would suggest adding a ->Tech tree, prem option as well.

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image

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It was passed to devs in 2014 so it’s crazy to think it hasn’t been added when things like China gained a Tu-4.

4 Likes

+1, despite how forlorn bombers are, and how copy-pasted the B-29/Tu-4 family already is, I agree its fully important to give a better picture of the history of the UK’s bomber arm.

2 Likes

+1, such an addition is long overdue

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I’ve made these corrections, and thank you very much for the additional sources and context around the aircraft, it is genuinely appreciated. It is a big shame that this plane isn’t yet in the game.

And sorry to hear that you were planning on submitting a suggestion yourself! I was shocked to see that one hadn’t been made already so I put this one together recently.

2 Likes

I have been busy working on weekends at the Vulcan and completing my degree so I didn’t manage to finish my submission before you submitted yours.

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98 Votes so far. Let’s get the Washington B.1 in the tech tree chaps!!!

2 Likes

+1, absolutely

1 Like