The major production version of the Superfortress was the B-29, 2513 of which were built. 1620 of them were built by Boeing at its Wichita, Kansas plant, 536 by Martin at its Omaha, Nebraska plant, and 357 by Bell at its plant in Marietta, Georgia.
The B-29 differed from the test models in having 16-foot 7-inch diameter fully-feathering four-bladed propellers. The engines were Wright R-3350-23, with a war emergency rating of 2300 hp. Only the very early Wichita-built models were delivered in olive drab and grey camouflage paint, with the remainder being delivered unpainted.
The first production B-29s began to roll off the production lines at Boeing-Wichita in September of 1943. The first B-29s appeared on the production lines at Bell-Atlanta (Marietta) in February of 1944. The first Martin-Omaha B-29 was delivered in mid-1944. The new Boeing plant at Renton built only the B-29A version.
The crew of the B-29 was typically eleven, comprising pilot, copilot, bombardier, navigator, flight engineer, radio operator, radar operator, central fire control gunner, left side gunner, right side gunner, and tail gunner. The first six crewmen were housed in the forward pressurized cabin. The next four were housed in the rear pressurized cabin. The tail gunner was in a separate pressurized compartment in the tail. Later in the war, the crew size was occasionally increased to 13 with the addition of two radar/radio operators to man the radar and electronic countermeasures equipment.
Fuel was carried in fourteen outer-wing, eight inner-wing, and four bomb bay tanks, giving a maximum capacity of 8168 US gallons. An early modification added four tanks in the wing center section, bringing total fuel capacity to 9438 US gallons.
The early models of the B-29 carried the Philco AN/APN-4 Loran (LOng RANge) constant- beam navigation aid. It was replaced by the more sophisticated RCA AN/APN-9 system later in World War II.
The B-29 carried an AN/APQ-13 radar bombing/navigational aid set. This set was developed jointly by the Bell Telephone Laboratories and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory. It was manufactured by Western Electric, which was in those days the manufacturing arm of the Bell System. The radar antenna for this unit was housed inside a retractable 30-inch hemispherical radome located between the bomb bays and protruding below the fuselage a couple of feet when extended. Later in the war, the AN/APQ-7 Eagle radar unit was used. The Eagle antenna was mounted in a wing-shaped housing installed underneath the forward section of the fuselage. The unit was also devised by Bell Labs and MIT, and was manufactured by Western Electric.
There were numerous variations within the production blocks. Bowing-Wichita models reached block number 100 in increments of five, and Martin and Bell reaching -60 and -65, respectively.
Early combat experience indicated that the B-29 needed more protection against fighter attacks coming from the front. The forward dorsal turret armament was increased to four 0.50-inch machine guns on Boeing-Wichita production block 40. Bell-Atlanta introduced this innovation on Block 10, and all Martin-built B-29s had four guns in the top turret from the beginning.
In the initial B-29 models, fuel was carried in fourteen outer-wing, eight inner-wing, and four bomb bay tanks, giving a maximum capacity of 8168 US gallons. An early modification added four tanks in the wing center section, bringing total fuel capacity to 9438 US gallons. This extra fuel was first introduced on Block 25 aircraft from Boeing-Wichita, on Block 5 B-29s from Bell. Martin-built B-29s had these extra wing tanks from the beginning.
The R-3350-41 engine was introduced by Boeing on the Block 50 B-29. Both Martin and Bell followed suit on Block 20. The R-3350-41 had baffles and oil crossover pipes in an attempt to improve the cooling.
The trajectory of the shells fired from the 20-mm cannon in the tail was completely different from that of the bullets from the 0.50-inch machine guns, which made aiming difficult in combat conditions. Consequently, the 20-mm cannon was deleted from the tail position beginning with Boeing-Wichita production block 55, Bell-Atlanta block 25 and Martin-Omaha block 25.
By the end of the production run, all three companies had begun to use the R-3350-57 engine.
Lingering doubts of about the efficacy of the remotely-controlled armament system resulted in the completion of one B-29-25-BW (42-2444) with manned turrets. This plane featured two manned power-operated dorsal turrets and two manned ventral "ball" turrets, each with two 0.50-inch machine guns. There was a single 0.50-inch gun in each of two beam positions, and two additional 0.50 guns in a blister on each side of the fuselage nose. The remotely-controlled armament system of the standard B-29 proved to be adequate, and this unique armament scheme was not pursued any further.
The last B-29 was delivered by Boeing-Wichita in October of 1945. The last B-29 was delivered by Bell-Atlanta in January of 1945, when it was replaced by the B-29B on the production line. The last B-29 was delivered by Martin-Omaha in September of 1945.
Engines: Four Wright R-3350-23 Duplex Cyclone eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines each with two General Electric turbosuperchargers, delivering 2200 hp for takeoff and having a war emergency rating of 2300 hp at 25,000 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 357 mph at 30,000 feet, 306 mph at sea level. Maximum continuous cruising speed 342 mph at 30,000 feet. Economical cruising speed 220 mph at 25,000 feet. Initial climb rate 900 feet per minute at combat weight. An altitude of 20,000 feet could be attained in 38 minutes. Service ceiling 33,600 feet. Maximum range was 3250 miles at 25,000 feet with 5000 pound bomb load. Practical operational radius was 1600-1800 miles. Maximum ferry range was 5600 miles, rising to 6000 miles with the extra fuel. Weights: 74,500 pounds empty, Normal loaded 120,000 pounds, maximum overload 135,000 pounds. Dimensions: wingspan 141 feet 3 inches, length 99 feet 0 inches, height 27 feet 9 inches, wing area 1736 square feet. Armament: Twelve 0.50-inch machine guns in four remotely-controlled turrets (two above and two below the fuselage) and in the tail, each with 1000 rounds of ammunition. In addition, early production blocks had a single rearward-firing 20-mm M2 Type B cannon with 100 rounds in the tail position. Later, two more guns were provided for the forward top turret. Maximum internal short-range, low-altitude bomb load was 20,000 pounds. A load of 5000 pounds of bombs could be carried over a 1600-mile radius at high altitude. A load of 12,000 pounds of bombs could be carried over a 1600-mile radius at medium altitude.
42-6205/6221 Boeing B-29-1-BW Superfortress 42-6222 Bell-Atlanta B-29-1-BA Superfortress 42-6223 Boeing B-29-1-BW Superfortress 42-6224 Bell-Atlanta B-29-1-BA Superfortress 42-6225/6228 Boeing B-29-1-BW Superfortress 42-6229/6232 Martin-Omaha B-29-1-MO Superfortress 42-6233 Bell-Atlanta B-29-1-BA Superfortress 42-6234 Boeing B-29-1-BW Superfortress 42-6235 Bell-Atlanta B-29-1-BA Superfortress 42-6236 Boeing B-29-1-BW Superfortress 42-6237 Martin-Omaha B-29-1-MO Superfortress 42-6238/6242 Boeing B-29-1-BW Superfortress 42-6243 Bell-Atlanta B-29-1-BA Superfortress 42-6244/6254 Boeing B-29-1-BW Superfortress 42-6255/6304 Boeing B-29-5-BW Superfortress 42-6305/6354 Boeing B-29-10-BW Superfortress 42-6355/6404 Boeing B-29-15-BW Superfortress 42-6405/6454 Boeing B-29-20-BW Superfortress 42-24420/24469 Boeing B-29-25-BW Superfortress 42-24470/24519 Boeing B-29-30-BW Superfortress 42-24520/24569 Boeing B-29-35-BW Superfortress 42-24570/24669 Boeing B-29-40-BW Superfortress 42-24670/24769 Boeing B-29-45-BW Superfortress 42-24770/24869 Boeing B-29-50-BW Superfortress 42-24870/24919 Boeing B-29-50-BW Superfortress 42-63352/63365 Bell-Atlanta B-29-1-BA Superfortress 42-63366/63381 Bell-Atlanta B-29-5-BA Superfortress 42-63382/63401 Bell-Atlanta B-29-10-BA Superfortress 42-63402/63451 Bell-Atlanta B-29-15-BA Superfortress 42-63452/63501 Bell-Atlanta B-29-20-BA Superfortress 42-63502/63551 Bell-Atlanta B-29-25-BA Superfortress 42-63552/63580 Bell-Atlanta B-29-30-BA Superfortress 42-63737 Bell-Atlanta B-29-40-BA Superfortress 42-63744 Bell-Atlanta B-29-40-BA Superfortress 42-63750 Bell-Atlanta B-29-40-BA Superfortress 42-65202/65204 Martin-Omaha B-29-1-MO Superfortress 42-65205/65211 Martin-Omaha B-29-5-MO Superfortress 42-65212/65219 Martin-Omaha B-29-10-MO Superfortress 42-65220/65235 Martin-Omaha B-29-15-MO Superfortress 42-65236/65263 Martin-Omaha B-29-20-MO Superfortress 42-65264/65313 Martin-Omaha B-29-25-MO Superfortress 42-65315/65383 Martin-Omaha B-29-30-MO Superfortress 42-65384/65401 Martin-Omaha B-29-35-MO Superfortress 44-27259/27325 Martin-Omaha B-29-35-MO Superfortress 27297 was "Bock's Car"--the Nagasaki bomber. Now on display at WPAFB Museum, OH. 44-27326/27358 Martin-Omaha B-29-40-MO Superfortress 44-62329/62909 cancelled contract for B-29 44-69655/69704 Boeing B-29-55-BW Superfortress 44-69705/69804 Boeing B-29-60-BW Superfortress 44-69805/69904 Boeing B-29-65-BW Superfortress 44-69905/70004 Boeing B-29-70-BW Superfortress 44-70005/70104 Boeing B-29-75-BW Superfortress 44-70105/70154 Boeing B-29-80-BW Superfortress 44-75027/76026 Cancelled Contract for B-29 44-83894 Bell-Atlanta B-29-40-BA Superforrtress 44-83900 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83904 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83908 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83911 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83914 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83917 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83920 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83923 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83926 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83928 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83930 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83932 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83934 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83936 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83938 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83940 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83945 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83947 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83949 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83951 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83953 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83955 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83957 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83960 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83962 Bell-Atlanta B-29-45-BA Superfortress 44-83964 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83966 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83968 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83970 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83972 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83974 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83976 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83978 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83980 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83982 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83984 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83986 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83988 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83990 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83992 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83994 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83996 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-83998 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-84000 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-84002 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-84004 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-84006 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-84008 Bell-Atlanta B-29-50-BA Superfortress 44-84010 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84012 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84014 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84016 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84018 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84020 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84022 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84024 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84026 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84028 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84030 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84032 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84034 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84036 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84038 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84040 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84042 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84044 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84046 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84048 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84050 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84052 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84054 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84056 Bell-Atlanta B-29-55-BA Superfortress 44-84058 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84060 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84062 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84064 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84066 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84068 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84070 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84072 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84074 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84076 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84078 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84080 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84082 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84084 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84086 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84088 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84090 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84092 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84094 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84096 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84098 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84100 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84102 Bell-Atlanta B-29-60-BA Superfortress 44-84104 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84106 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84108 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84110 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84112 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84114 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84116 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84118 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84120 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84122 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84124 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84126 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84128 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84130 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84132 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84134 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84136 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84138 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84140 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress - cancelled 44-84142 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84144 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84146 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84148 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84150 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress - cancelled 44-84152 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-84154 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress - cancelled 44-84156 Bell-Atlanta B-29-65-BA Superfortress 44-86242/86276 Martin-Omaha B-29-40-MO Superfortress 44-86277/86315 Martin-Omaha B-29-45-MO Superfortress 86292 was *Enola Gay*, which dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima. 44-86316/86370 Martin-Omaha B-29-50-MO Superfortress 44-86371/86425 Martin-Omaha B-29-55-MO Superfortress 44-86426/86473 Martin-Omaha B-29-55-MO Superfortress 44-87584/87633 Boeing B-29-80-BW Superfortress 44-87634/87683 Boeing B-29-85-BW Superfortress 44-87684/87733 Boeing B-29-86-BW Superfortress 44-87734/87783 Boeing B-29-90-BW Superfortress 87766 to USN as P2B-2S #84031 45-21693/21742 Boeing B-29-90-BW Superfortress 45-21743/21757 Boeing B-29-97-BW Superfortress 45-21758/21792 Boeing B-29-95-BW Superfortress 21789 to USN as P2B-1S BuNo 84028 21791 to USN as P2B-2S BuNo 84030 45-21793/21812 Boeing B-29-96-BW Superfortress 45-21813/21842 Boeing B-29-95-BW Superfortress 45-21843/21872 Boeing B-29-100-BW Superfortress 45-21873/22392 Cancelled contract for B-29 45-40911/41735 Cancelled contract for B-29 45-42480/43079 Cancelled contract for B-29