Photography Magazine

Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay”

By Htam
Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay”

@ Chantilly, VA

September 2004

One of the centerpieces of the collection at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is the Enola Gay.  The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber flown operationally during World War II and the Korean War.  It was one of the largest aircraft operational during World War II and featured state-of-the-art technology. Innovations introduced included a pressurized cabin, dual-wheeled, tricycle landing gear, and an analog computer-controlled fire-control system directing four remote machine gun turrets.  Seventeen production aircraft were modified as atomic weapon-capable Silverplate aircraft.  Silverplate modifications included fuel-injected engines, reversible-pitch propellers, and pneumatic actuators for rapid opening and closing of bomb bay doors.  Weight of the aircraft was reduced by removing all gun turrets and armor plating, resulting in a significant increase in performance over standard B-29s.  On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan.  First flown in 1994, they remained in service until 1960.  The Royal Air Force even flew the B-29 as the Washington until 1954.  Of the 3,970 B-29s built, 26 complete B-29’s are currently on display in the United States.  Nikon Coolpix 4500 photo.

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