Aircraft Type: B-29(TB), S/N 44-84076, Super Fortress, Boeing (Bell)
Mission: Heavy Bomber
Number Built: The Army Air Force accepted a grand total of 3,960 B-29s: 3,943 B-29s, 3 XB-29s (including the experimental plane which crashed before delivery), and 14 B-29 prototypes. Actually, B-29, B-29As, and B-29Bs made up the production total. The B-29 and B-29A were alike and barely differed from the B-29B. The B-model was about 2,000 pounds lighter than the A, had an extra 150 feet in service ceiling, and a slightly longer range.
Powerplant: Four supercharged Wright R-3550-W57 Double Cyclone radial, air-cooled engines; 2,200 horsepower each.
Weight: Maximum 133,500 lbs.
Dimensions: Wingspan 141’3″, length 99′, height 27’9″
Performance: Maximum speed 357 MPH, Cruising speed 220 MPH. Range 3,700 miles. Service Ceiling 33,600 feet.
Significance of Type
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was the most advanced bomber aircraft to see operation service in World War II. The Army Air Force used it in low-level, night incendiary attacks against Japan. The aircraft also successfully aerial-mined the waters surrounding the Japanese mainland during WWII. The Enola Gay, arguably the most famous B-29, dropped the world’s first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later, on August 9, 1945 another B-29 named Bockscar dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
When SAC was established in 1946 it exclusively used B-29s. They were used in the conventional bombing role during the Korean War (1950-1953). B-29s flew their final bomber mission in 1954 , thereafter serving SAC in specialized roles such as reconnaissance and as tanker aircraft.
About Our B-29(TB), S/N 44-84076 : The Museum’s B-29 was manufactured by Bell Aircraft, in Marietta, Georgia and delivered to the USAAF on August 4, 1945. Below are the unit assignments of this aircraft:
August 1945- To Walker AAF (Second Air Force), Victoria, Kansas
September 1945- To San Antonio Air Material Center, Kelly AAF, Texas
November 1945- To 4196th AAF Base Unit (Air Material Command), Victorville AAF, California (storage)
May 1946- To 4117th AAF Base Unit (AMC), Robins AAF, Georgia
August 1946- To 4119th AAF Base Unit (AMC), Brookley AAF, Alabama
April 1947- To 97th Bombardment Group (Strategic Air Command), Smoky Hill AAF, Kansas
October 1947- To 28th Bombardment Group (SAC), Rapid City (later Weaver) AFB, South Dakota (deployment to England AFB, Louisiana and RAF Scampton UK)
February 1949- To Sacramento Air Material Area, McClellan AFB, California
September 1949- To Oklahoma City Air Material Area, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma (To TB-29)
March 1951- To 11th Radar Calibration Squadron (Air Defense Command), Hamilton AFB, California (Deployment to McChord AFB, Washington)
September 1952- To 112th Radar Calibration Squadron (ADC), Hamilton AFB, California (Deployment to March AFB CA)
February 1953- To 4th Radar Calibration (ADC), Hamilton AFB, California
March 1954- To 4754th Radar Evaluation Flight (ADC), Hamilton AFB, California
July 1958- To 4754th Radar Evaluation Squadron (ADC) , Hamilton AFB, California
July 1959- To 3902nd Air Base Wing (SAC), Offutt AFB, Nebraska and dropped from inventory by transfer to the Strategic Air & Space Museum