serve as test beds

September 25 [Wed], 2013, 12:38

the B29A included a better wing design and defensive modifications. Due to a demonstrated weakness to headon fighter attacks, the number of machine guns in the forward dorsal turrets was doubled to four. Where the wings of previous models had been made by the subassembly of two sections, the B29A began the trend of using three. This made construction easier, and increased the strength of the airframe. The B29A was produced until May 1946, when the last aircraft was completed. It was much used during the Korean War, but was quickly phased out when the jet bomber became operational. Since fighter opposition was minimal over Japan in late 1944, many of the Army Air Force leadership most notably Curtis LeMay, commander of the XXI Bomber Command felt that a (lighter) faster bomber would better evade Japanese flak.

In the B29B, all defensive armament was removed except for that in the tail turret. Initially the armament was two .50 in M2/AN machine guns and one 20 M2 cannon which was soon changed to three .50 in M2/ANs. The Army Air Force originally ordered 5,000, but cancelled its request when World War II ended and none were built.[13][14]The B29D was an improved version of the original B29 design, featuring Pratt Whitney R436035 engines of 3500 Tyron Smith Elite Jersey (2600 each nearly 60% more powerful than the Wright R3350. It also had a taller vertical Tyron Smith Black Jersey stabiliser and a strengthened wing. The XB44 was the testbed designation for the D model.

When World War II ended, drastic cutbacks were made in military spending, altering the outlook of the B29 program. Because Congress was reluctant to continue funding wartime projects, the B29D was redesignated B50 to make it appear completely new. Congress fell for the trick, and the B29D was kept alive, even though no planes flew under the original designation.

Test beds

A number of B29s were converted to serve as test beds for new systems. Stripped of armament, a converted B29B55BA[22] (4484043)(Bell) designated the carried experimental jet engines in its bomb bay, which it would extend into the airstream for testing during flight. This plane was used to test the Allison J35, General Electric J47 and J73 jet engines.[23][24]The to test armament configurations was a converted B29A.[25][26]

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