Dustoff: The Memoir of An Army Aviator

By Michael J. Novosel | Go to book overview
Save to active project

4
The B-29 Superfortress

The Army Air Forces pilot accepted into the B-29 program had to be a top-notch military aviator. To qualify for training as a B-29 aircraft commander, he had to have a minimum of five hundred hours in a four-engine bomber, either the B-17 or the B-24, and at least fifteen hundred hours of flying time. I easily met those qualifications; I had more than two thousand hours, including eight hundred as a B-24 test pilot. I felt honored to be selected. The B-29 was the top of the line -- technologically the most advanced aircraft of World War II.

Compared to the B-24, which had a 110-foot wingspan, four 1,200horsepower engines, and weighed more than 30 tons, the B-29 was a monster. It had a wingspan of 141 feet, 3 inches, and four 2,200-horsepower engines driving four-bladed propellers each 16 feet, 7 inches in diameter. It weighed more than 71 tons.

There were other refinements unique to the B-29. The crew compartments were pressurized, eliminating the need for constant use of oxygen at altitude. The defensive armament was contained in turrets remotely controlled by a sophisticated electronic system that allowed for transfer between selected gunnery stations. All stations had computing sights that were easy to operate and (properly used) produced excellent results. The B-29, with a maximum bomb load of ten tons, was capable of extremely long-range operations, making it ideally suited for the air offensive against Japan.

I was assigned to Maxwell Army Air Field at Montgomery, Alabama, for transition training. There I met my copilot and flight engineer. Unlike B-24 transition, where instruction was on an individ

-20-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dustoff: The Memoir of An Army Aviator
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 326

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?