A Tribute to the Great Boeing B-29 Superfortress
This website is a tribute to the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, and to the people who designed, built, flew, and serviced these aircraft.
"Enola Gay" parked on tarmac after the Hiroshima atomic bomb flight
We provide first-hand commentary, specifications, history and original photographs of the Superfortress.
Boeing began work on a pressurized long-range bomber in 1938. In December 1939, the Army Air Corps issued a formal specification for a so called "superbomber", capable of delivering 20,000 lbs of bombs to a target 2,667 miles distant, at a speed of 400 mph.
The B-29 was one of the most advanced bombers of its time, featuring innovations such as a pressurized cabin, a central fire-control system, and remote-controlled machine gun turrets.
As part of the World War II military buildup, 3,970 B-29s were built during production at four assembly plants across the United States.
Read about the B-29's role in World War II and Korea, the bomber's development, production and deployment.
Explore our coverage of the B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay" and its role in dropping the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Days later, the B-29 "Bockscar" dropped the second bomb, on Nagasaki.
Left fuselage view of the Boeing WB-50D, S/N 49-0310 (staff photo)
After World War II, many of the existing B-29 aircraft were sent for storage, and ultimately scrapping at aircraft storage and disposal facilities around the U.S.
The remaining B-29s helped build the initial bomber inventory of the Strategic Air Command when it was formed in March of 1946. Many served during the Korean War and as KB-29 aerial tankers during the 1950s.
A later variant of the B-29 was the B-50 Superfortress which featured more powerful Pratt & Whitney radial engines, a stronger structure, a taller fin, and other improvements.
Only 22 complete B-29 airframes are currently on display in the United States. We've had the privilege of seeing, and photographing, 16 of these, and have on this website a list of surviving B-29 Superfortresses, photographs and locations. These surviving bombers provide us a first-hand, up-close opportunity to appreciate the size and power of these aircraft.
Boeing B-29 Superfortress S/N 44-87627 at the USAF Global Power Museum in Louisiana (staff photo)
Continued Evolution of This Website Series
We originally launched www.PlanesOfThePast.com in 2012. Since then, it has grown into a large site covering a variety of aviation-related topics. Now we offer the following websites:
- AirplanesOfthePast.com - World War II, the Cold War and modern day airplanes
- B29-Superfortress.com - The Boeing-built super bomber of World War II and the early Cold War years (this site)
- AirplaneBoneyards.com - Military and airliner boneyards in the United States
- AirplaneNoseArt.com - Nose art on aircraft, its origin, usage in World War II, and the modern day art form
- AirplaneMuseums.com - Airplane exhibits, museums, memorials and air parks
- AirlinerSpotter.com - Jet airliner spotting tips, Airbus and Boeing fleets with characteristics, comparisons and photographs