Was the B-29 Superfortress a Failure?

Barrett

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If ever there was a self-answering question...
A-bomb.jpeg
 

Macandy

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The B-29 was the first bomber able to deliver the strategic effects the bomber advocates dreamed of.
It was the first bomber with the performance and bomb load to able to be used to smash cities at will.
Nothing was the same after B San.
 

Snautzer01

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Did it do what is was created for? Partly. The high altitude bit didnt worknout very well i believe. Wasn it leMay that changed to lower altitude and different pay load? Question is how much of the budget was spend on gear not used.
 

Snautzer01

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You say it yourself:it was designed to do a job it couldnt do. Whatever the reason behind it. And a generation behind a Lancaster did not help the german cities very much. Now i am not ill mouthing the Superfort for a minute here. For the jetstream thing: jetstreams could, no should have been known. Jet Stream - The balloon encyclopedia .
 

GrauGeist

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Yes but it was build to just do that. Could a lesser developed airplane have done the same? Lets say Lancaster?
If the war in Europe had drug on longer than it actually did, the B-29 would have most likely entered operations there nd it would have been operated at designed high altitudes due to the extensive AA and interceptors.

The Lancaster was certainly a capable heavy bomber, but not as complex and capable as the B-29.

For range and lift, I'd say the B-19 was closer, with the exception of altitude.
 

pbehn

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I would say that it was worth the effort even if it didnt drop a bomb in anger, it formed the basis of post war civil aviation, leaving everyone else to catch up.
 

FLYBOYJ

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You say it yourself:it was designed to do a job it couldnt do. Whatever the reason behind it. And a generation behind a Lancaster did not help the german cities very much. Now i am not ill mouthing the Superfort for a minute here. For the jetstream thing: jetstreams could, no should have been known. Jet Stream - The balloon encyclopedia .
You're comparing operations in two different parts of the world. The B-29 "could have" easily easily operated over Europe and accomplished the job of all the heavy bombers deployed there. The Lancaster did not have the range to operate in the Pacific in the same manner as the B-29.

The Jet stream was not fully known to the AAF until they had to fly into it.

The B-29 was used for many years after the war and was even flown by the RAF to REPLACE the Lancaster and Lincoln. This discussed many times before.
 

special ed

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The utility of the design allowed much longer use. The B-29 soldiered into the late fifties as B-29K & P. The continuation of the design as the B-377 and B-50 extended after the Lancaster and Lancastrian.. The various intel missions would have been nearly impossible for Lancasters. The followon Shackleton was the best utility of the Lancaster design. Only my view from the back of the room.
 

Peter Gunn

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You're comparing operations in two different parts of the world. The B-29 "could have" easily easily operated over Europe and accomplished the job of all the heavy bombers deployed there. The Lancaster did not have the range to operate in the Pacific in the same manner as the B-29.

The Jet stream was not fully known to the AAF until they had to fly into it.

The B-29 was used for many years after the war and was even flown by the RAF to REPLACE the Lancaster and Lincoln. This discussed many times before.
Totally agree. Harking back to an old argument over a different plane (P-51) and paraphrasing, the B-29 could do the Lancaster's job, but the Lancaster cannot do the B-29's job. (Note: this is NOT a knock on the Lancaster, just an observation).
 

Snautzer01

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You're comparing operations in two different parts of the world. The B-29 "could have" easily easily operated over Europe and accomplished the job of all the heavy bombers deployed there. The Lancaster did not have the range to operate in the Pacific in the same manner as the B-29.

The Jet stream was not fully known to the AAF until they had to fly into it.

The B-29 was used for many years after the war and was even flown by the RAF to REPLACE the Lancaster and Lincoln. This discussed many times before.
The discussion is if design was a succes. For me that is taken the design brief and look how it panned out. What ever the reason high altitude bombing above Japan was not a succes. Ergo the Usaaf perhaps could have done with an other design less hindered with this high altitude stategy. The lancaster is an example for this and not the plane in this discussion.
 

FLYBOYJ

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The discussion is if design was a succes.
And I think, based on it's longevity, operational history and capability, it was
For me that is taken the design brief and look how it panned out. What ever the reason high altitude bombing above Japan was not a succes.
The high altitude campaign was obviously not a success but LeMay adjusted accordingly. But at the end of the day, the ultimate mission of the B-29 was to deliver an atomic weapon, I think that part of the mision was clearly successful
Ergo the Usaaf perhaps could have done with an other design less hindered with this high altitude stategy. The lancaster is an example for this and not the plane in this discussion.
You brought up the Lancaster and again it clearly was not capable of not accomplishing the same mission as the B-29. The B-32 Dominator was the "back up" design and it too had issues during development. The "high altitude strategy" as you call it could have worked in other places during the same period. It was just a matter of situational bad luck that the 20AF had to deal with the jet stream which just so happened to be over Japan.
 

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