The B-29 was a brand-new advanced bomber. It was the only bomber at the time with a pressurized cabin. The guns were not located right in front of each gunner as was the case with other bombers. There were five remote control gun turrets firing twelve 50 caliber machine guns and one 20 millimeter cannon in the tail. Two turrets above the fuselage, one forward just behind the cockpit and one aft just before the tail. Two turrets below the fuselage, one forward between the bomb bay and the cockpit, and one aft below the tail. One turret in the tail, which included the 20 millimeter cannon. The guns were fired remotely by the gunsights at each gunner position.
The guns were state of the art. Ballistics in the guns was "computer" controlled. At the time, computers were not digital as they are today, they were analog. The "computers" in the B-29 automatically corrected for ballistics and all the factors that affected ballistics such as gravity, angle of fire, airspeed, altitude, temperature, range and parallax. There was no need to lead the target. All the gunner needed to do was identify the target aircraft, smoothly track the sighting dot on the center of the target aircraft, adjust the sighting circle diameter to match the wing span of the target aircraft, and squeeze off short bursts of fire. Identifying the target aircraft and adjusting the diameter of the sighting circle to the target aircraft wingspan is what determined the target range. Control of each individual gun turret could also be passed to whichever gunner needed them most. One gunner could control one or more gun turrets with one gunsight. Art's gunsight was mounted inside a Plexiglas blister about three feet in diameter on the right side of the fuselage.
The B-29 weighed 76,000 pounds empty and as much as 141,000 pounds when fully loaded with bombs and fuel. 99 feet long, 28 feet high with a wing span of 141 feet. At altitude, it could cruise at 325 miles an hour. On short missions it could carry forty 500 pound bombs in its two bomb bays. Four 2200 HP Wright Whirlwind R-3350 radial engines, each having 18 cylinders in two banks of nine cylinders.
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Between February and March of 1944, the new crews received the first B-29s. Being a brand-new airplane, they had their problems. Engine problems were common.