Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: B29

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Uki, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    35,199

    Default B29

    https://www.quora.com/Was-the-B-29-a-good-plane

    I heard something once from “Corky” Meyer, Grumman’s top test pilot during WWII and Korea who “brought in” the Hellcat, Bearcat, Tigercat and Panther jet, who knew and spoke with some other test pilots that while the B-29 was in its testing phase, her main test pilot, an Air Force flyer famous for his skill, balls of steel and “Never say die” attitude…demanded something almost unheard of from a test pilot…he asked to be allowed to quit the project…to save his life.
    I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    20,356

    Default Re: B29

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexp...wasp-and-b-29/


    In the summer of 1944, the 25-year-old U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Paul W. Tibbets had a problem. He was in charge of training pilots on the Army Air Forces' newest, biggest and most complicated bomber yet, and the task was turning out to be much more onerous than he'd anticipated. Tibbets' men were putting up unprecedented resistance. In point of fact, the pilots had every reason to be wary. The B-29 was not only much larger and heavier than any bomber the U.S. had flown before, it also hadn't gone through the years of operational testing to which Boeing had subjected its predecessor the B-17. Initially engine fires were one of the major problems. The planes' Wright engines were often called the Wrong engines. Part of the trouble could be traced to the engine cowlings that were too tight and often caused fires even before the planes had taken off. Although engine improvements were made over time, fires remained a problem throughout World War II.

    Tibbets decided that the way to convince the men to fly the plane was to show that women could do it. The young Colonel recruited Dora Dougherty and Dorothea Moorman to be his demo pilots. Dougherty remembers that at that point, she had never even been in a four-engine plane before. Tibbets did not warn his new recruits of the engine fire problem. Instead he trained them to take off without the standard power checks. After three days, the colonel decided his women pilots were ready for their demonstration. For several days, Dougherty and Johnson ferried pilots, crew chiefs and navigators from the very-heavy-bomber base at Alamogordo, New Mexico across the state. Tibbets' plan was a terrific success: After watching the women fly the four-engine bomber, the men stopped complaining about the plane. Air Staff Major General Barney Giles brought the demonstrations to an abrupt halt after just a few days, telling Tibbets that the women were "putting the big football players to shame." Giles was also worried that an accident would unleash tremendous adverse publicity. The two women were sent back to Eglin Field, Florida, and never flew a B-29 again. But the plane they'd demonstrated went on to play a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,014

    Default Re: B29

    Unwittingly, they all may well have contributed to the seventh extinction . . .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Uki, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    35,199

    Default Re: B29

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexp...wasp-and-b-29/


    In the summer of 1944, the 25-year-old U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Paul W. Tibbets had a problem. He was in charge of training pilots on the Army Air Forces' newest, biggest and most complicated bomber yet, and the task was turning out to be much more onerous than he'd anticipated. Tibbets' men were putting up unprecedented resistance. In point of fact, the pilots had every reason to be wary. The B-29 was not only much larger and heavier than any bomber the U.S. had flown before, it also hadn't gone through the years of operational testing to which Boeing had subjected its predecessor the B-17. Initially engine fires were one of the major problems. The planes' Wright engines were often called the Wrong engines. Part of the trouble could be traced to the engine cowlings that were too tight and often caused fires even before the planes had taken off. Although engine improvements were made over time, fires remained a problem throughout World War II.

    Tibbets decided that the way to convince the men to fly the plane was to show that women could do it. The young Colonel recruited Dora Dougherty and Dorothea Moorman to be his demo pilots. Dougherty remembers that at that point, she had never even been in a four-engine plane before. Tibbets did not warn his new recruits of the engine fire problem. Instead he trained them to take off without the standard power checks. After three days, the colonel decided his women pilots were ready for their demonstration. For several days, Dougherty and Johnson ferried pilots, crew chiefs and navigators from the very-heavy-bomber base at Alamogordo, New Mexico across the state. Tibbets' plan was a terrific success: After watching the women fly the four-engine bomber, the men stopped complaining about the plane. Air Staff Major General Barney Giles brought the demonstrations to an abrupt halt after just a few days, telling Tibbets that the women were "putting the big football players to shame." Giles was also worried that an accident would unleash tremendous adverse publicity. The two women were sent back to Eglin Field, Florida, and never flew a B-29 again. But the plane they'd demonstrated went on to play a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II.
    Regarding the engine fires.
    Wright saved weight in the engines light-weight crankcase of the R3350 by making it out of very flammable magnesium crankcase, and when they went up like shooting stars, they could quickly burn right through a wing spar.
    And while magnesium is light and very strong, it’s also highly flammable, and once on fire, almost impossible to extinguish. In 87% of B-29 engine fires, the onboard extinguishers were unable to cope, couldn't douse magnesium fires, and the fire would burn out the whole engine and eat through the wing. The loss stats speak for themselves – of 414 B-29 losses in WWII, 147 of them were to flak and Japanese fighters, 267 to engine fires
    I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    27,559

    Default Re: B29

    I think I have told this story here before.

    In 1995 I was working in Subic Bay and decided to drive to Taal, the town on the edge of the volcano of the same name, south of Manila. We stopped for gasoline and the garage owner (it was a proper garage, not a filling station) hearing my accent came over and asked where in England I was from. I said “Woodbridge, it’s a small town in a county called Suffolk, north and east of London…”

    ”I know that place!” he said, “I was there during the War!”

    He told me that he had been in the Air Force in the Philippines before the Japanese invasion, he was one of the lucky and determined people who got out to Australia ahead of the Japanese, where he was recruited into the RAAF and sent to Britain as a bomber gunner. He flew in Lancasters. At some point the Powers that Be noticed that he was technically American and sent him to the USAAF who eventually sent him to Guam as a gunner on B-29s. He got home in one piece, rather to his surprise.

    So of course I asked him which aircraft he preferred.

    “The Lancaster was primitive. Almost everything was hand operated, it was incredibly noisy and very cold. But most of the equipment worked. On the B-29 you never knew what was going to fail next!”
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cantão - Brazil
    Posts
    16,652

    Default Re: B29

    One of the reasons for the bloodbath at Okinawa was for the Americans to get a place where damaged B-29s could land on their way back from massacring Japanese civilians.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    21,642

    Default Re: B29

    yea war sucks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    17,588

    Default Re: B29

    I was just in the Air and Space Museum by Dulles, D.C. airport the other day and saw the B-29 Enola Gaye.
    That was the plane that dropped the first nuke on Japan.
    From a catwalk, I was able to look down on the bombardier's station in the nose of the aircraft.
    A sobering moment to view the spot where one man pushed a switch that unleased such horrible death.
    I'm not judging the moment, just mentioning how sobering it was.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    20,356

    Default Re: B29

    Tacoma, my fair city, has a branch of the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. Last time I was in there, a log book from the Enola Gay was on display. I can’t remember if it was the pilot’s or bombardier’s. Hiroshima was just a brief notation.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,455

    Default Re: B29

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I was just in the Air and Space Museum by Dulles, D.C. airport the other day and saw the B-29 Enola Gaye.
    That was the plane that dropped the first nuke on Japan.
    From a catwalk, I was able to look down on the bombardier's station in the nose of the aircraft.
    A sobering moment to view the spot where one man pushed a switch that unleased such horrible death.
    I'm not judging the moment, just mentioning how sobering it was.
    Very sobering. That is a great museum by the way!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    27,559

    Default Re: B29

    I read that the B-29 program cost more than the Manhattan Project.

    That is just staggering.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •