Sep 272011
Boeing XB-44 Superfortress

The photos in the gallery above depict the Boeing/Pratt & Whitney XB-44 Superfortress, a B-29A-5-BN (s/n 42-93845) upgraded with Pratt & Whitney R-4360-33 Wasp Major radial engines of 3,000 hp each. These replaced the Wright R-3350 production engines rated at 2,200 hp each. The XB-44 program was initiated in mid-1943, when Pratt & Whitney proposed […]

Jul 262011
Boeing B-54A Mock-up Inspection (1948)

The Boeing B-54A was the planned production version of the YB-50C and the final development of the B-29 Superfortress. It was powered by improved R-4360 Variable Discharge Turbine (VDT) radial engines. Wing span was increased by approximately 20 feet, necessitating additional outrigger landing gear in the outer engine nacelles. The larger wing imposed heavier loads […]

Jan 012011
The B-52 Competition of 1946...and Dark Horses from Douglas, 1947-1950 (American Aerospace Archive 3)

In this issue, we examine proposals submitted to the Army Air Force heavy bombardment competition of 1946, which ultimately yielded the legendary Boeing B-52. Though Boeing won the initial competition, it struggled to keep the contract as changing Air Force requirements and rival companies put intense pressure on the program. One of its most aggressive […]