Airplanes of the Past Home Page Story of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, its history, design, development, production numbers, assembly lines, specifications, and surviving planes



Boeing B-29 Superfortress Development, History, Assembly Plants, & Production Numbers

Our Tribute to the B-29

We have moved our B-29 and B-50 content to our new website ...

www.B29-Superfortress.com

This section is meant to be a tribute to those who designed & built the B-29 Superfortress, the crews who flew her, and those who have worked tirelessly to preserve this incredible plane and its history.

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 first three aircraft built were identified as the XB-29, with triple-bladed propellers.

Boeing XB-29, S/N 41-0002, the first B-29 prototype, seen at Boeing Field in Seattle, on October 1, 1942
Boeing XB-29, S/N 41-002, seen at Boeing Field in Seattle, on October 1, 1942

B-29

The most widely produced Superfortress model was the B-29, of which 2,537 aircraft were built.

The B-29 featured the first ever fully pressurized nose and cockpit in a bomber; an aft area for the crew was also pressurized. Since the bomb bays were not pressurized, a pressurized tunnel was devised to connect the fore and aft crew areas. A retractable tail bumper was provided for tail protection during nose-high takeoffs and landings.

B-29 Superfortress Specifications

Armament: Eight .50-cal. machine guns in remote controlled turrets plus two .50-cal. machine guns and one 20mm cannon in tail; 20,000 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Four Wright R-3350s of 2,200 hp each
Maximum speed:
357 mph
Cruising speed: 220 mph
Range: 3,700 miles
Ceiling: 33,600 ft.
Span: 141 ft. 3 in.
Length: 99 ft.
Height: 27 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 133,500 lbs. maximum

B-29 Superfortress Assembly Plants and Production Numbers

A total of 3,970 production B-29s were built, at these locations:

     
Prototypes
Production
Aircraft Manufacturer
Plant Location
Plant Code
XB-29
YB-29
B-29
B-29A
B-29B
Production
B-29s Built
Boeing Seattle, Washington
BO
3
Boeing Renton, Washington
BN
1,122
1,122
Boeing Wichita,
Kansas
BW
14
1,644
1,644
Bell Aircraft Co. Atlanta (Marietta),
Georgia
BA
357
311
668
Glenn L. Martin Co. Omaha,
Nebraska
MO
536
536
 
TOTAL PRODUCTION
2,537
1,122
311
3,970

Boeing Wichita Plant, inside view of B-29s on the assembly line
Boeing Wichita Plant, inside view of B-29s on the assembly line
Inside the Boeing Wichita Kansas Plant, B-29 Superfortress assembly line
Inside the Boeing Wichita Kansas Plant, B-29 assembly line
Boeing Wichita Plant, aerial view of completed B-29s parked on tarmac
with part of the original Stearman Aircraft plant and water tower in the background
Boeing Wichita Plant, aerial view of completed B-29s parked on tarmac with part of the original Stearman Aircraft plant in the background

USAF B-29 Assembly Line Photos

Boeing B-29 Superfortress Assembly Line
Boeing B-29 Assembly Line (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)
Boeing B-29 Superfortress pressurized cockpit sections, showing connectors for pressurized tunnel over bomb bays
Boeing B-29 pressurized cockpit assembly, showing connectors for pressurized tunnel
Partially completed wing assembly of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Partially completed wing assembly of the Boeing B-29
Boeing B-29 Superfortress Assembly Line
Boeing B-29 Assembly Line (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)
Boeing B-29 Superfortress Assembly Line
Boeing B-29 Assembly Line (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)
Boeing B-29 Superfortress Assembly Line
Boeing B-29 Assembly Line (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)
The completed aircraft: The Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Boeing B-29 Superfortress

 

We have moved our B-29 and B-50 content to our new website ...

www.B29-Superfortress.com