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Manually operated turret armed Boeing B-29 Superfortress

Pioneer

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Hello all

I am looking for pictures and line drawings of the variant of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, which was developed as a backup in the case that the then technically highly advanced remote operated defensive gun turrets failed to materialise. This variant, which Im sure was built as a flying prototype, equipped with manually operated turrets
Also does anyone have its actual designation???


Thanks in advance

Regards
Pioneer
 

Jemiba

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The aircraft modified had the serial 42-24441. Some years ago,I've got some photos
via another forum, but without proper mention of the source. So I'm a little bit
anxious of posting them here again (just a very low res teaser ...), just drop a PM
with your mail adress.
Another modification was that, of the YB-29, which got the nose and side blister turrets
developed for the Privateer and Dominator. Have but just one photo of it.
 

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Hoo-2b-2day

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There was no separate designation for the B-29 with manual armament - they were simply considered "development" aircraft. Several aircraft were used to test various weapon layouts which was due to the huge technical problems the remotely contolled turrets initially caused.

There are some very good photos in Squadron Signals B-29 in Action (the latter version, No 1165) but no plans.
 

Antonio

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Another modification was that, of the YB-29, which got the nose and side blister turrets
developed for the Privateer and Dominator. Have but just one photo of it.

would you please post this pic?

Thanks in advance :)
 

pathology_doc

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From William Green's "Famous Bombers of the Second World War", another view.
 

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jstar

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There never was a official designation. The aircraft, 224441, was just modified to test the manned turrets. Detail and Scale Vol. 10 has two pages on this aircraft, including one of the manned waist position from the inside. Christopher Chant's 'Super Profile' on the B-29 has a picture showing that the tail turret is modified from standard B-29 turret in shape and mount position. The 'B-29 in Action' has some close ups of the retracted aft ball turret, and a fairly good close up of the waist and aft upper turrets, as well as two of the 'escort' B-29 with the ERCO ball.

I think there are perhaps three pictures (the nose barbetts from two views, and the waist showing the waist, upper and lower mannned turrets) that are the ones most common to books about the B-29. Hard to find others.

There are no line drawings, as the manned turrets replaced the remote turrets exactly. Except for the shape of the turrets, it looks just like a standard B-29.

If you find others, please let me know.
 

Jemiba

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The modified YB-29 :
 

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jstar

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from 'Detail and Scale Vol. 10"
 

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red admiral

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I can't remember which book it's from, so I'm not sure on the S68 designation.
 

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Stargazer2006

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It would be much more credible as a "Project 368" rather than "S68", given the timespan. A "3" getting replaced by an "S" is the kind of thing that happens when scanning in black-and-white instead of gray levels and then using a cheap OCR. Maybe that's what happened at some point? Of course, a mere printing mistake from the publisher is very possible. In the traditional publishing circuit, the guys who do the final work on the pages are not often knowledgeable in the material they send to the press for printing! (of course this happens less and less I guess when the authors provide a readily printable copy of the stuff thanks to word processors and pagemakers...)
 

Pioneer

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Thanks for the response people

Yes this is the project I was thinking of!
Although I must say I have not seen the modified armament of the YB-29 that Jemiba has posted before!
Any more info on this modification Jemiba??

Just a bolt out of the blue - but does anyone know if there was an advantage of manual armament study over that of remotely operated armament?

I dare say that the manually operated defensive armament would have greater drag penalty = reduced speed and range!

Thanks once again

Regards
Pioneer
 

Rickshaw

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How did they handle the pressure sealing on the waist positions? Or did they depressurize before combat?
 

Jemiba

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I just know, what was told on the site, where I found the photos:
This installation was just made as a backup against the failure of the remotely controlled
gun turret system. As the latter proved to work well, there was no need for manned
turrets. The two upper turrets were Martin products, the two lower ones made by
Sperry. About pressurisation : Am I wrong, or was just the cockpit and the rear gunner
station of the B-29 pressurized ? And I think, I've read somewhere, that those section
were usually depressurized before entering the combat area either, to prevent a sudden
depressurisation in the event of battle damage.
 

jstar

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Cockpit, waist remote gun sighting stations, and the tail gunners position were pressurized. The Cockpit and waist connected by the tunnel, the tail gunner way out there by himself.

The aircraft was normally depressurized when entering action where gunfire might cause a rapid depressurization, if the aircraft was at the time pressurized. On the later raids on Japan, pressurization was often not required because of the relatively low levels of the attacks.
 

jstar

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And a full side view of the erco turreted B-29
 

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pathology_doc

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jstar said:
The aircraft was normally depressurized when entering action where gunfire might cause a rapid depressurization, if the aircraft was at the time pressurized.

IOW travel in airliner-like comfort (i.e. no mask) for most of the trip; oxygen on for the difficult bits, and pressurize again (if the airplane's not a colander) for the comfortable trip home.

...the tail gunner way out there by himself.

And so it continued thereafter, even to some versions of the B-52!
 

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