The B-29 went operational late in the war and many of its details were classified, so there was no design analysis article. Being the primary strike force against the home islands of Japan, though, the B-29 garnered a great deal of attention.
Some of the exposure is shown here:
- Aviation's introductory article, "Boeing B-29 Superfortress" [ HTML ] appeared in July, 1944.
- "B-29 The Boeing Superfortress" [ HTML ], the Industrial Aviation introductory article, appeared as a special insert in the July, 1944 issue.
- "Two strikes against the Axis" [ HTML ] describes the B-29 in some detail and the P-61 in passing. Less information had been released on the P-61 at that time.
- "Engineering the B-29's Armament" [ HTML ] describes the organization and function of the fire control system.
- "Self-Contained Subassemblies Feature B-29 Four-Gun Turret" [ HTML ] is a two-part, extensively illustrated article describing the B-29's novel fire control system, focusing on the four-gun forward dorsal turret.
- "Aviation's Sketchbook of Design Detail" over several months included many detail drawings:
- September, 1944: "Looking forward toward double nose wheel of Boeing B-29 Superfortress, showing doors for double bomb bays. Opened and closed electrically, bomb bay doors are of built up construction with both inner and outer skins, and are attached to fuselage by four hinge arms."
- October, 1944: "Engine nacelles of Boeing B-29 Superfortress greater in diameter than fuselages of many smaller craft are of built-up construction, including tubular members as shown at A. Size permits installation of auxiliary units, such as those at B and C within nacelle. Air ducts leading aft are shown at D."
- October, 1944: "Details of aft end of B-29 engine nacelle, showing fairing A which extends over top of wing, leading edge of which fits at B. Air duct shown at C, and end of engine exhaust stack is at D."
- October, 1944: "Cross-section of Boeing B-29 Superfortress is 9 ft in diameter at this point at fore end of first of two bomb bays. Bomb bay doors attach to hinges (two of which are shown at A and B) at bottom of built-up structure C. This portion of craft is not pressurized, so tunnel D is provided for crew members to move between pressurized control cabin and gunners' compartment aft of bomb bays. Note varying sizes of frames used in this section."
- October, 1944: "View of aft portion of cabin control section of Boeing B-29 Superfortress, showing shape of bulkhead between pressurized and unpressurized sections. Note cylindrical shape of fuselage, ideal section for pressurized structures. Tunnel for pasage of crew over unpressurized section which attaches to left end of this section is shown at A."
- October, 1944: "Skeleton view of part of Boeing B-29 Superfortress fuselage, showing circumferentials and stringers prior to installation of skin. Lighter stringers are L-shaped; heavier ones are U-shaped."
- November, 1944: "Exterior view of forward part of Boeing B-29 Superfortress, showing method of providing extremely wide range of visibility for pilot, copilot, and bombardier. 'Cap' of transparent plastic fits onto nose at extreme left. Fuselage here is of conventional bulkhead, stringer, and stressed skin construction."
- November, 1944: "Interior view, looking aft, in cabin control section of B-29. Foundations for pilot's and copilot's seats are at A and B, respectively. Concave bulkhead C (to which center portion C-1 is still to be added) separates this section from unpressurized bomb bays. Bottom part of tunnel through which crew members may crawl from on pressurized section of craft to another over bomb bays is shoen at D. Some of pilot's windows can be seen at E.
- November, 1944: "Remote-controlled fore-lower twin-.50-cal machine gun turret of Boeing B-29 Superfortress is located just ahead of forward bomb bay. Wide field of fire of turret in indicated by position of guns, and smooth fairing is shown. Built-up structure of bomb bay doors, as well as actuating lever on right door, can also be seen.
- February, 1945: "Exterior view of upper portion of Boeing B-29 Superfortress, showing gun sight station and remote controlled gun turret with twin .50-cal machine guns. This gunner can fire not only this turret, but can take over two others, guns of which will be aimed at same target."
- February, 1945: "Basic units of central General Electric gunnery control system used in B-29. Gunner, occupying seat A, sights through unit B and, when ready, presses triggers on grips C. Electric impulses are carried through cables D to unit shown in center (but which can be located anywhere in plane) which compensates for speed, distance, gravity and parallax to operate through cables to turret shown at right."
- February, 1945: "Upper Superfortress twin-.50 gun turret with fairing dome removed. Operational details are restricted, but simple, rugged construction is revealed."
- February, 1945: "One-line circuit diagram showing interconnection of five turrets, five sighting stations and accessories on Boeing B-29 Superfortress gunfire control system. System permits gunners to fire guns in more than 30 combinations. Up to three turrets can be controlled and fired simultaneously by a single gunner. Nose gunner controls both upper and lower forward turrets; upper gunner controls upper turret if nose gunner is not using it. Side gunners control lower rear turret and can control forward upper turret as well as tail turret if they are not in use by nose and tail gunners respectively."
- February, 1945: "Lower remote-controlled twin-.50 B-29 gun turret, revealing similarity to upper turret shown on opposite page. Principal difference lies in installation of ammunition cases seen in stamped flanged frames at either side, and reversal of cylindrical unit shown in bracket in foreground."
- May, 1945: "Lear cowl-flap actuating system on Boeing B-29 Superfortresses includes electric motor (A) supplying power through gear box (B) and drive unit (C), which transmits power through flexible cables such as (D) to T-type drives (E) and L-type (F), which operate screwjacks (G) attached to flaps for extension or retraction."
- Intro page to "Boeing B-29 Superfortress" [ HTML ] includes includes 4 photos:
- B-29 in flight, Mt Rainier in background, seen from 2 o'clock
- B-17G and B-29 flying in formation, seen from nearly directly below
- Tail and fin with maintenance scaffolding. seen from aft right
- B-29-10-BW 26312 on hardstand, with Culver Cadet in front of right wing, seen from 2 o'clock.
- "B-29 The Boeing Superfortress" [ HTML ] incluced 5 photos and a 3-view silhouette"
- "Two strikes against the Axis", [ HTML ] includes a page of 6 photos of the B-29:
- Cleanest nacelles on any bomber, these carry 2,200-hp engines, retracted landing gear, 16' 7" props. [ photos ]
Detail photo of prop and front of cowling, seen from below and close.
- Boeing B-29 in flight is distinguished by extremely slender wing, tubular fuselage, tapering nacelles in orthodox positions, four-blade prop. Note special flaps which give spectacular takeoff run. [ photos ]
View is from 12 o'clock low.
- Visibility of B-29 side turrets is revealed [ photos ]
Detail photo of lefthand waist sighting bubble. Insigne does not have bars.
- First announced B-29 mission originated in China, ended in bombardment of Japan under leadership of new 20th Bomber Command. [ photos ]
B-29-25-BW 224427 flying echelon right to a B-17G. This is probably the same flight as "Superfortress duo contrasted with Flying Fortress" below, but taken from 5 o'clock high.
- Size of tail in contrast with Culver target plane. [ photos ]
Empennage and tail turret (with guns not shown) of B-29-25-BW 224449, seen from right side.
- Superfortress duo contrasted with Flying Fortress. [ photos ]
View is from 10 o'clock low.
- The color front cover of Aviation for September, 1944, is a Hamilton Standard ad, "Hydromatics on the B-29", a color painting of a B-29 with jeeps and bomb trains, seen from 2 o'clock high.
- A news clip with photos, "More Superfortress Details Revealed", includes three photos and a diagram:
- B-29A-1-BN 293843 in flight with bomb bay doors open, seen from 10 o'clock low
- Rear dorsal turret, seen from the position of the fin
- Tail gun station with 20-mm cannon
- Diagram of pressurized areas
- A BF Goodrich "Airplane of the Month" ad, "Boeing B-29 Superfortress", is a color painting of B-29s in China. Plane in foreground seen from 11 o'clock, on the ground.
- A news clip with photos, "How she goes together", shows major subassemblies of the B-29; one photo is a quasi-exploded view; the other shows the wing/center-fuselage being prepared for mating with the main fuselage assemblies.
A similar photo in Hess, et al, (p 299) is credited to Boeing Archives.
- A United States Electrical Tool Co ad, "Before and After V-Day", shows a B-29 on hardstand, with a Boeing Kaydet trainer (PT-13) parked under the right wing tip. Viewpoint is roughly 2 o'clock.
- A Boeing ad, "The story behind the Boeing Superfortress", shows a B-29 from 10 o'clock low. Plane appears to be in actual natural metal finish. Plane is seen from aft fuselage forward.
- A Boeing ad, "Size alone wasn't enough", shows B-29A-1-BN 293837 in flight, seen from 10 0'clock low.
- A news clip with photo, "Rows of bomb-bay sections and tail surfaces for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress take shape in a forest of jigs at Goodyear Aircraft Corp", shows a row of horizontal stabilizer structures (skin off) with cylindrical fuselage sections in the background.
- A two-page General Electric ad, "It's one of the Biggest Electrical Stories of the war", features a detail photo of the tail gun station of B-29A-5-BN 293853 viewed from below right, a view of the rear dorsal turret, seen from the position of the fin, and a photo of B-29A-5-BN 293844 in flight with bomb bay doors open, seen from 10 o'clock low.
- A Barco (hydraulic line assemblies) ad, "Happy Landings for the mighty B-29
", has a photo of a B-29 on final approach, seen from 11 o'clock on the ground, and a detail photo of the hydraulic brake line assembly for one of the main gear.
- A Hershey-Houdaille (shimmy dampers) ad, "We build Super shimmy dampers for Superfortresses", has a detail photo of the nose gear (turned about 80° right), highlighting the shimmy damper installation, and a detail drawing of the shimmy damper unit.
- A Cornelius (bar and soda fountain equipment, making air pumps) ad, "So it won't get caught with its pants down", shows B-29A-5-BN 293844 in flight with bomb bay doors open, seen from 11 o'clock low.
The original had lettering in process red (greyscale here) and was damaged in my copy of the magazine, so that only the photo portion is shown here.
- A Chandler-Evans (Ceco carburetors) ad, "Beginning of the end of Tokyo", shows a B-29 on takeoff, seen from 3 o'clock on the ground. Tail flash is V over square over 4; tail number is 4565, nose number is K-253; tail gun seems to be the 20-mm cannon.
- "Engineering the B-29's Armament" [ HTML ] includes a diagram and 5 photos:
- Details of B-29 Superfortress electrical central control gunnery system are shown here
- Upper two-gun turret wtth dome removed to show compact design
- AAF sergeant is shown operating basic elements of central gunnery control system. All gunner has to do is get the enemy plane in his sights and pull trigger. The complicated mathematical problem of accounting for speed of the enemy plane, its distance from the B-29, gravity and parallax is worked out at split second tempo by electronic and mechanical units of the system
- Side view of lower forward turret for B-29
- Position of tail gunner in B-29. His guns are below him and he is not in manual contact with them, aiming and firing them with the remote-control gunsight which he is shown handling
- B-29 side gunner using his sighting device to fire at enemy planes. All he has to do is keep his sight on target and press a trigger. Oxygen mask is used as a precaution against puncture of the plane's pressurised cabin area by enemy gunfire or flak.
Inset shows details of B-29 sighting station
- An ad for Shelby Seamless Aircraft Tubing (National Tube Co, division of US Steel), "When a B-29 sits down
there's a heavy load on her 'legs'", has a photo of the left main gear of a B-29, with ground crew setting chocks.
- A news clip with photo, "B-29 gets 'in-lines'", shows YB-29-BW 136954 converted to XB-39 testbed with Allison power. View is from 2 o'clock high.
- A news clip with photo, "Superfort's flight-engineer station", shows the panel and controls at the station.
- A news clip with photo, "Two 22,000-pound bombs were carried by B-29s toward the end of the war. British designed bombs were carried externally", shows a B-29 with two Grand Slam bombs mounted at hard points between the inner nacelles and the fuselage. View is from 4 o'clock low.
Unless the pictured bombs are empty casings, this would be stressing the B-29 well beyond standard published limits. Most sources list maximum bomb load as 20,000 lb, while two Grand Slams would be 44,000 lb (plus mountings.) Listed empty weight is 68,800 lb, though this could be decreased by a couple of thousand pounds by eliminating the defensive guns and fire-control system; maximum weight (in some sources, overload weight) is listed at 135,000 lb.
The plane in the photo appears to have a radome mounted between the bomb bay door positions. This probably reveals the presence of a RADAR system on the plane, either weather-monitoring or, possibly, targeting.
- A BF Goodrich ad, "Pair of nylons
Superfortress size", has a detail photo of the main gear of a B-29. Wheel well and gear mechanism are in shadow, but the inside of one gear door and the tire tread are shown clearly. Note the oil streaks on the nacelle skin in front of the wheel well. Photo seems to be of the right main gear.
- A US Rubber ad, "From Bobcats to B-29s", includes a photo of the tail and tail gun station of B-29-50-BW 224827 on the ground. Ground crew are inspecting the tail skid.
- A Texaco ad, "Tunnel to Tokyo", features a photo of the pressurized tunnel over the bomb bay, with a crewman to indicate size.
- A Collins Radio ad, "In the Boeing B-29 from the first", shows two B-29s dropping incendiaries and an inset of the AN/ART-13 Collins transmitter.
- A Boeing ad, "'Ground Flight' of a Boeing Superfortress", shows a B-29 nacelle and engine, mounted in a section of wing, in a static test. Engine cowl flaps are open.
- A Chevron ad, "Stars in the sky
the Superfortress", has several drawings and detail drawings of the B-29.
- An Intersstate Aircraft and Engineering (subcontractor) ad, "Interstate helps the B-29 to say 'Bombs Away!'", has a small photo of a B-29 with bomb bay doors open and a detail photo of the pneumatic actuators used to operate the bomb bay doors.
- "Self-Contained Subassemblies Feature B-29 Four-Gun Turret" [ HTML ] includes 17 detail photos and drawings of the four-gun forward dorsal turret and its control systems.
- A Boeing ad, "Peacemakers", shows a flight of B-29s with Mt Fuji in the background.
In another source (Great American Bombers of WWII, Hess, et al, 1998; p 348) this same photo is credited to Harold Dreeze.