November 2, 2017 -- Legal Eagle II
This B-29 Superfortress is on display at the South Dakota Air & Space Museum, located just outside the main gate of Ellsworth AFB, near Rapid City, South Dakota. This museum is part of the museum system of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing, which was flown primarily by the United States during World War II and the Korean War. It was one of the largest aircraft operational during World War II and featured state-of-the-art technology. Including design and production, it was the single most expensive weapons project undertaken by the United States in World War II, exceeding the cost of the Manhattan Project by between $1 and 1.7 billion. Innovations introduced included a pressurized cabin, dual-wheeled, tricycle landing gear, and an analog computer-controlled fire-control system that directed four remote machine gun turrets that could be operated by a single gunner and a fire-control officer. A manned tail gun installation was semi-remote.
There were 3,970 B-29s produced between 1943 and 1946 and they were only used in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. The B-29 was the first aircraft to have a pressurized cabin and was capable of reaching an altitude of 31,000 feet, putting it out of range of most Japanese fighters. The most famous B-29s were the 'Silverplate' series, which were modified to drop atomic bombs, including the “Enola Gay” which dropped the first atomic bomb in combat on August 6, 1945.
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