The B-29B was a lightened version on the Superfortress that was built exclusively by Bell-Atlanta. It had all but the tail defensive armament removed, since experience had shown that by that stage in the war the only significant enemy fighter attacks were coming from the rear.
The tail gun was aimed and fired automatically by the new AN/APG-15B radar fire control system that detected the approaching enemy plane and made all the necessary calculations.
The elimination of the turrets and the associated General Electric computerized gun system increased the top speed of the Superfortress to 364 mph at 25,000 feet and made the B-29B suitable for fast, unescorted hit-and-run bombing raids and photographic missions. Most of the weight saved by stripping off the defensive armament was devoted to additional bomb capacity. The right and left side gunners were not carried and the central fire control gunner occasionally acted as an observer and the bombardier's duties could often be performed by the radar operator. The plane could operate with a crew of seven to eight, since fewer gunners were now required. However it often carried up to ten (commander, pilot, navigator, radar operator, bombardier, radio opperator, flight engineer, tail gunner, and two scanners). The scanners were supposed to look out for other planes, both friendly and enemy.
The B-29Bs were not ordered in a single large batch, but were ordered in small batches (sometimes singly) from B-29-BA production lines. It is often difficult to distinguish B-29Bs from "ordinary" B-29s which had been stripped of their machine gun turrets to save weight during General LeMay's fire bombing campaign against Japan during 1945. However, they could be distinguished from B-29s by their serial numbers and by the presence of the external radar antenna in the extreme tail.
A total of 311 B-29Bs were built between January and September of 1945. Most of the B-29Bs were issued to the 315th Bombardment Wing in the Marianas in 1945.
After the war, a special B-29B named Pacusan Dreamboat (44-84061) was converted for long-range flights. It was fitted with modified "Andy Gump" nacelles originally intended for late-model B-29As, R-3350-CA-2 fuel injection engines and specially-designed three-bladed paddle-type propellers. It made several record-breaking long-distance flights, including a nonstop distance record of 7916 miles from Guam to Washington, D. C. in November of 1945.
42-63581/63621 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-30-BA Superfortress 42-63622/63691 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-35-BA Superfortress 42-63692/63736 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress 42-63738/63743 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress 42-63745/63749 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress 42-63751 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress 44-83890/83893 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress 44-83895 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-40-BA Superfortress 44-83896/83899 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83901/83903 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83905/83907 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83909/83910 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83912/83913 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83915/83916 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83918/83919 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83921/83922 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83924/83925 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83927 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83929 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83931 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83933 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83935 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83937 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83939 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83941/83944 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83946 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83948 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83950 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83952 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83954 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83956 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83958/83959 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83961 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-45-BA Superfortress 44-83963 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83965 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83967 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83969 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83971 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83973 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83975 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83977 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83979 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83981 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83983 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83985 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83987 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83989 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83991 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83993 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83995 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83997 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-83999 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-84001 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-84003 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-84005 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-84007 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-50-BA Superfortress 44-84009 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84011 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84013 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84015 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84017 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84019 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84021 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84023 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84025 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84027 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84029 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84031 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84033 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84035 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84037 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84039 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84041 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84043 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress converted to XB-29G jet engine test bed. 44-84045 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84047 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84049 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84051 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84053 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84055 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-55-BA Superfortress 44-84057 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84059 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84061 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84063 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84065 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84067 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84069 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84071 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84073 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84075 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84077 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84079 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84081 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84083 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84085 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84087 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84089 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84091 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84093 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84095 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84097 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84099 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84101 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84103 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84105 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84107 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84109 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84111 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84113 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84115 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84117 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84119 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84121 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84123 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84125 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84127 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84129 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84131 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84133 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84135 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84137 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84139 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84141 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84143 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84145 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84147 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84149 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84151 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress 44-84153 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress - cancelled 44-84155 Bell-Atlanta B-29B-65-BA Superfortress
Engines: Four Wright R-3350-41 Duplex Cyclone eighteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines each with two General Electric turbosuperchargers, delivering 2200 hp for takeoff with a war emergency rating of 2300 hp at 25,000 feet. Performance: Maximum speed: 364 mph at 25,000 feet Normal cruising speed: 210-225 mph Maximum range: 4200 miles at 10,000 feet with full fuel load and 18,000-pound bombload. Practical operational radius 1800 miles. An altitude of 20,000 feet could be attained in 33 minutes at 110,000 pounds gross weight. Fuel capacity: 6988 US gallons, the bomb bay tanks were not standard fit. Weights: 69,000 pounds empty, 137,000 pounds loaded with 18,000 pounds of bombs. Dimensions: wingspan 141 feet 3 inches, length 99 feet 0 inches, height 27 feet 9 inches, wing area 1736 square feet. Armament: two 0.50-inch machine guns in the tail, with provision for two 0.50-inch guns in the mid-fuselage pressurized area. Bombload was typically 20,000 pounds, although with a mix of high explosive and incendiaries, this could be increased to 22,800 pounds.