Boeing YB-29J 'Superfortress'

  Base model:B-29
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1924-Present
  Basic role:Bomber

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Recent comments by our visitors
 Kevin Cameron
 , MA
It would be interesting to know if the accelerated trials of the much updated Wright CA-2 engine, or R-3350-79, were part of an Army Air Force decision-making process to decide between that engine and the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 that did in fact power the postwar follow-on to the B-29 - the B-50. P & W had modified a B-29 as a testbed for the developing 4-row 4360, resulting in the designation "B-44".
07/02/2006 @ 07:14 [ref: 13629]
 Kevin Cameron
 , MA
Six of these aircraft were built to facilitate rapid evaluation of new types of engine and propellers. Wartime Wright R-3350s had suffered many forms of unreliability (some 130 aircraft were lost in accidents caused by engine failures, 1943-45)and many improvements had been proposed, only a few of which were actually implemented during the war.

The R-3350 CA-2 engines tested in YB-29J were based upon the Phase III engine discussed in April 1945, which was to include the following;

all-rear exhaust, forged heads, new, higher-strength connecting-rod system, advanced fuel injection, piston cooling oil jets, hi-capacity supercharger, low-tension ignition, and provision for use of a double-acting propeller.

The celebrity among YB-29Js was "Pacusan Dreamboat", which on 20 Nov 1945 flew Guam-to-DC (7916 miles)non-stop, un-refueled. In 1946, with new wide-chord 3-bladed propellers, it also flew Honolulu-Cairo and then set a record from Paris to Westover AF (in MA)in 12 hours 25 minutes.

As it turned out, the CA-2 engines were not adopted on an updated B-29. Rather, a few hundred of the similar-looking B-50 were built after the war with Pratt & Whitney R-4360 engines.
06/24/2006 @ 06:07 [ref: 13583]