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Air Force Museum Foundation

Boeing B-29 Superfortress


The B-29 on display, Bockscar, dropped the Fat Man atomic bomb on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, three days after the atomic attack against Hiroshima. Bockscar was one of 15 specially modified "Silverplate" B-29s assigned to the 509th Composite Group. Most B-29s carried eight .50-cal. machine guns in remote controlled turrets, two .50-cal. machine guns and one 20mm cannon in a tail turret, and up to 20,000 pounds of bombs. Silverplate B-29s, however, retained only the tail turret and had their armor removed to save weight so that the heavy atomic bombs of the time could be carried over a longer distance.

Designed in 1940 as an eventual replacement for the B-17 and B-24, the first B-29 made its maiden flight on Sept. 21, 1942. In December 1943 U.S. Army Air Forces leadership committed the Superfortress to Asia, where its great range made it particularly suited for the long over-water flights against the Japanese homeland from bases in China. During the last two months of 1944, B-29s began operating against Japan from the islands of Saipan, Guam and Tinian. With the advent of the conflict in Korea in June 1950, the B-29 returned to combat. Although vulnerable to MiG-15 jet fighter attacks, the Superfortress remained effective against several types of targets throughout the Korean War.

Bockscar was flown to the museum on Sept. 26, 1961.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Eight .50-cal. machine guns in remote controlled turrets plus two .50-cal. machine guns and one 20mm cannon in tail; 20,000 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Four Wright R-3350s of 2,200 hp each
Maximum speed: 357 mph
Cruising speed: 220 mph
Range: 3,700 miles
Ceiling: 33,600 ft.
Span: 141 ft. 3 in.
Length: 99 ft.
Height: 27 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 133,500 lbs. maximum
Serial number: 44-27297 


Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.

 

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View the B-29 Pilot Station
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Lecture
Col. (Ret.) Joseph Sweeney: "B-29 Bockscar" (00:26:17)
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Paul Tibbets Jr.: "Air Power in World War II" (01:02:50)
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Air Force Museum Foundation
View B-29 products in the Museum Store
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