On September 21, 1942, 73 years ago, the maiden flight of the Boeing B-29 “Superfortress” took place.
The plane was the successor of Boeing’s ultra-tough B-17 “Flying Fortress,” and the predecessor to the B-52 “Stratofortress,” which is still in use today.
The plane would become the long range, heavy bombing workhorse of the Pacific theatre of World War II, where it achieved fame and infamy for dropping Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Relive the legacy of this iconic bomber in the slides below.
The B-29 was very advanced for its time, featuring a pressurised cabin, tricycle dual-wheeled landing gear, and remote controlled gun turrets.
Only the front and back compartments were pressurised, meaning that the crew had to crawl over the bomb bay via a narrow 35-foot tunnel.
At the time, it was the heaviest production plane in the world, weighing in at 105,000 pounds with an optional 20,000 pounds of bombs.
In addition to bombs, the B-29 was armed with 12 remotely controlled .50 calibre Browning machine guns and a 20 millimetre cannon at the tail gun.
Famously, the Enola Gay bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Three days later, another B-29, the Bockscar, bombed Nagasaki.
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