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Transportation And Weapons: The B 29 Superfortress

2468 words - 10 pages

In the 1900's, transportation and weapons became important for the different wars that the United States were involved in. Planes were one of the most significant inventions in the 20th century. Being able to fly from place to place was a new lifestyle for America's military. In World War II, military planes were a huge part of the war, and without them, many things that happened, would not have happened. As America was getting involved with Japan, they needed a more powerful plane. That plane that they needed was known as the B-29 Superfortress. The B-29 had a greater impact on Japan than any other plane because of the amount of destroyed resources in Japan, the most destructive firebomb in history, and the dropping of the first atomic bomb.
The United States needed an enormous bomber plane that could carry out the plans that air force wanted. There were two main focuses for sending the B-29’s over to the Pacific. Author James Lee Cate said,”...the plan was aimed at two objectives currently sponsored by President Roosevelt: to speed up the war against Japan and to bolster the morale of the Chinese.” Air company, Boeing, and American Air Force designed the B-29 Superfortress in 1939. Boeing had come up with a huge project in making these big bombers. The new bomber plane was unlike any plane at the time. At 99 feet long and with a wingspan of 141 feet, the B-29 had a top speed of 365 miles per hour. Its range was about 5, 830 miles and it could hold a crew of ten men. The B-29 had fast speed, good range, as well as carrying big bombs. The Air Corps needed a plane exactly like this. This bomber was also the heaviest plane to date because it was equipped with bombs and defensive weapons. Being able to hold many bombs because of its size, made it quite significant compared to other planes in WWII. Although there were such high hopes for the B-29, it did not have a great start to flying. Edmund Allen tested the plane out on September 11, 1942 in Seattle, and flew for about 75 minutes. American Air Force project officer, Colonel Donald Putt, said the prototype was, “unbelievable for such a large plane to be so easy on the controls.” Everyone was excited with the first prototype and how it flew, but there was a problem with the second prototype. Again Allen tested it, and at 5,000 feet in the air he reported that one of the engines was on fire. The plane crashed in a packing plant and killed all 11 men that were on the plane as well as the men who worked in the plant. Allen’s crash was highly destructive, and production of the B-29 stopped for months. Investigators found out that the creators of the B-29 used magnesium in the engines, a metal thatl can catch fire at high temperatures. Historian Kennedy Hickman said this about the process, “Many of the problems were the result of rushing the aircraft in order to get it into combat as quickly as possible.” After some new modifications the B-29 was ready to fight the enemy in 1943. Factories in Wichita,...

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