Author Topic: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration  (Read 51764 times)

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #225 on: January 27, 2018, 07:55:25 AM »


Stratovision was a system to rebroadcast TV and FM radio signals via transmitters mounted on airplanes.

The idea was first proposed in 1944, and by September 1946, engineers had a workable design. The Glenn L. Martin Company modified a Bell-built B-29B Superfortress (US Air Force serial number 44-84121) bomber for testing. On 23 June 1948, the B-29 crew, orbiting 25,000 feet above Pittsburgh, rebroadcast the Republican National Convention directly from WMAR-TV in Baltimore, Maryland. The bomber was outfitted with an eight-foot mast on its vertical stabilizer to receive programs; the signal was sent from the antenna to the cabin, and then to the broadcast antenna. The antenna, stored horizontally in the bomb bay, extended twenty-eight feet down when operating.

Testing wrapped up in 1949 and Westinghouse dropped Stratovision in 1950.
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #226 on: January 27, 2018, 11:55:21 AM »
Testing wrapped up in 1949 and Westinghouse dropped Stratovision in 1950.

Dropped on who and what?

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #227 on: January 28, 2018, 03:40:58 AM »
Reminds me a bit of those proposals to use highflying aircraft such as the Scaled Composites Proteus as a high-altitude, long operation (HALO) telecommunications platform.
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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #228 on: August 05, 2019, 04:43:09 AM »
Random idea:  B-29/B-50 or even B-54 re-engined with T-56 engines.
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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #229 on: August 05, 2019, 07:12:02 AM »
Testing wrapped up in 1949 and Westinghouse dropped Stratovision in 1950.
The Stratovision B-29 concept was also featured in the 1986 film called The American Way starring Dennis Hopper (also released as Riders on the Storm).
Wikipedia > "The American Way (Riders on the Storm)".   
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« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 07:15:48 AM by Jeffry Fontaine »
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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #231 on: October 20, 2019, 04:29:06 AM »
This video is quite educational and has a lot of good on the B-29. 
YouTube > USAAF Training Film on B-29 Superfortress ground handling, towing, and mooring procedures
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #232 on: October 20, 2019, 08:10:27 AM »
In the book about the Bristol Brabazon there are numerous photos. Some of them are of the inside of the huge hanger that was built for the Brabazon at Filton.  There's two (or three) which show a B-29 that the RAF got, going through their conversion to RAF standard.  Although it doesn't come right out and say it, but I got the impression Bristol had the maintenance job for them too.

I had this thought of a B-29 which had arrived for some damage repairs, like after a heavy landing, and the first thought was to scrap it. But then the Bristol engineers, suggest they repair it and upgrade it at the same time. My thoughts were to put Britannia engines and wings on it ----- along with the 4-wheel u/c ----  My thinking was the wing got a new build fuselage section, and then the front and rear fuselage parts of the B-29 were added to this new center section, making it longer. To finish the job, a B-50 tail was installed.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 08:13:43 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #233 on: October 20, 2019, 11:11:21 AM »
Sounds like a great project Robert.  Now add it to your list.  ;)
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Offline finsrin

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #234 on: October 20, 2019, 01:35:25 PM »
As Jeff said:   "Sounds like a great project Robert.  Now add it to your list."   :smiley:     Mach2 makes 1/72 Britannia.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #235 on: October 20, 2019, 10:37:48 PM »
 :smiley:

On the list --  the ever growing list   ;)

I've got a couple of Airways Vac Form Britannias in the stash, and a number of B-29/50's. The Britannias are earmarked for something else, but I'll dig the kits out and see what's involved.

I'm seriously considering buying a Mach II Britannia though.

Offline Daryl J.

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #236 on: November 28, 2019, 05:28:14 AM »
What would the maximum altitude be for a T-56 engined B-29?

Could it have flown high enough to be a large, long rage very high altitude recce aircraft?

I know the time frame overlaps the RB-47H but why not?
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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #237 on: November 28, 2019, 06:43:30 PM »
I have a hard time believing any turboprop is going to be able to compete with the RB-47 for high altitude performance. The props just won't have enough purchase on the air at high altitude so its ceiling is going to be pretty dismal in comparison IMO.

If you remove the high-altitude requirement, I can think of a few reasons you might keep something of the B-29's size and prodigious payload capability well into the jet age:

Parasitic recce aircraft's mother aircraft - sort of a baby GEBO
Carrier for a large aperture telescope for MASINT in a modified rear fuselage
Use the B-29's relatively large bomb bay dimensions for a really large aperture SLAR pod

The trouble for all of these is that I think a RB-36 would probably be even better. Now a T-56 engined B-29 MPA? Perfect!
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 06:46:11 PM by Empty Handed »

Offline jcf

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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #238 on: November 29, 2019, 05:39:02 AM »
The Tu-95 has a higher service ceiling than the B-47, by over 5,000'.
Anyhow the RB-47H was not a high-altitude recce aircraft.
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Re: Boeing B-29 Superfortress ideas and inspiration
« Reply #239 on: November 29, 2019, 06:47:26 AM »
Ha! Genuinely thought the Stratojet was good for a bit (lot) more than that. The RB-47 not withstanding, my point holds true, the RB-29 is outclassed for performance in the jet era.

I think for 1950s high-altitude heavy recce, its hard to beat the HP Victor SR.2 for ceiling even if it is at least half a generation later. I've heard rumours of them north of 60000ft on more than one occasion. I don't see a Bear doing that!


Edited to Add:

Some other ways to get a RB-29 with turboprops:

Fit an earlier generation turboprop earlier in the day, such as T40 (I was going to suggest the T34 as on the YC-97J but that buys you perhaps a year or 2 on fielding a T56 variant - circa 1955 vs 1957, on the late side in either case IMO)

Kick the RB-29 to a secondary theatre where its obsolescence is less of an issue, say AdlA over Algeria

WB-29V weather recce freeing up newer B-47s/B-52s/C-135s for SAC's frontline strength
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 07:40:38 AM by Empty Handed »