B-29 Superfortress

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It was near the end of 3,mile non-stop flight from California to Bermuda.

Jasper grad spends summer in B-29 bomber

The air force reported that the Superforts were on the way to England for 60 to 90 days for training under the rotation plan, which has been in effect since American planes were sent back to England after the war. Strategic air command headquarters at Omaha reported that it had ordered the th bomb group from MacDill Field, Tampa, Fla. Headquarters said five planes already were searching, four coast guard PBM's and an air rescue service B The last message from the imperiled bomber was sent at a. The four motored bomber was three hours and 35 minutes overdue at Kindley Field, U.

Four search planes took off from Kindley Field to search for the missing bomber as soon as its message was received. They shuttled through the skies over quadrants northwest and southeast of Bermuda.

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The bomber was attached to the Second Squadron, 27th Bombardment Group, 15th air force, stationed at Riverside, Calif. It took off last night at Bermuda time, p.

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It was on the way to England with other planes of the same group. See Article History. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. The first flight of B s took off from Saipan on November 24, , and bombed Tokyo, the first bombing raid on the Japanese capital since LeMay continued throughout the closing months of and into But it was still 1, miles from Saipan to Tokyo, a long flight even for the B s. Strategic planners therefore fixed their attention on the little….

Restored B-29 takes to the air

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  8. To protect the Superfortress, Boeing designed a remote-controlled, defensive weapons system. Engineers placed five gun turrets on the fuselage: a turret above and behind the cockpit that housed two. One of these turrets fired from behind the nose gear and the other hung further back near the tail.

    Another two. Gunners operated these turrets by remote control--a true innovation.

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    They aimed the guns using computerized sights, and each gunner could take control of two or more turrets to concentrate firepower on a single target. Boeing also equipped the B with advanced radar equipment and avionics.

    These systems were accurate enough to enable relatively accurate bombing through cloud layers that completely obscured the target. Bs also routinely carried as many as twenty different types of radios and navigation devices. By the end of the year the second aircraft was ready for flight.

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    Fourteen service-test YBs followed as production began to accelerate. Building this advanced bomber required massive logistics. Both Curtiss-Wright and the Dodge automobile company vastly expanded their manufacturing capacity to build the bomber's powerful and complex Curtiss-Wright R turbo supercharged engines. The program required thousands of sub-contractors but with extraordinary effort, it all came together, despite major teething problems. By April , the first operational Bs of the newly formed 20th Air Force began to touch down on dusty airfields in India.

    By May, Bs were operational.

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    In June, , less than two years after the initial flight of the XB, the U. This mission longest of the war to date called for Bs but only 80 reached the target area. The AAF lost no aircraft to enemy action but bombing results were mediocre. The first bombing mission against the Japanese main islands since Lt. This was also the first mission launched from airbases in China.

    However, they employed high-altitude, precision, bombing tactics that yielded poor results.


    The high altitude winds were so strong that bombing computers could not compensate and the weather was so poor that rarely was visual target acquisition possible at high altitudes. LeMay ordered the group to abandon these tactics and strike instead at night, from low altitude, using incendiary bombs. These firebombing raids, carried out by hundreds of Bs, devastated much of Japan's industrial and economic infrastructure.