View Full Version : B-29 radar cover (warning - pictures)

08-07-2005, 02:59 PM
Hello all,

I've noticed that our B-29s don't have the AN/APQ-13 radar cover in their 3D model. Most war pictures don't show the radar, I bring some that do:









(sources: http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/bombers/b3-31.htm, http://www.boeing.com)

I've found two possible explanations of the pictures with and without the radar cover, but no fully credible sources to support either one of them:

1) The radar was retractable
2) The radar cover was erased from most war photographs by censors

The photos show radar cover down in all situations, during bombing, normal flight, takeoff, under good weather conditions. Especially during takeoff (picture #4 - JATO!), there was no reason to have the radar down if it was retractable. Similar thing when the plane was damaged (picture #6). Therefore I take the second explanation for more credible.

Does anyone know whether the radar was retractable, and if so, when did the crews lower / retract it?

In my opinion, the omission of the radar cover in the B-29 3D model was a mistake which should be corrected.

Your opinion? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

08-07-2005, 03:21 PM
I found this reference:

"During World War II, B-29€s were equipped with the improved H2X radar called the AN/APQ-13, a ground scanning radar developed by Bell, Western Electric and MIT. The radome was carried on the aircraft belly between the bomb bays and was partially retractable . The radar operated at a frequency of 9375 45 megacycles and used a superheterodyne receiver. The radar was used for high altitude area bombing, search and navigation. Computation for bombing could be performed by an impact predictor. A Range Unit permitted a high degree of accuracy in locating beacons."

08-07-2005, 06:30 PM
wartime sensors did remove it from pics, however i dont know if they where on every b29..

08-07-2005, 06:48 PM
Our B-29 doesn't have RATO packs, either.

08-07-2005, 06:53 PM
What Zyzbot said AND . . . all B-29A's had them (it also, apparently, helped with collision avoidance in bad weather and at night) except for the very late ones that had Eagle AN/ANQ-7, looks like a small wing under the fuselage - same place as AN/ANQ-13 - that stretched almost completely between the maingear.

PS. I believe RATO was post war (photo showing RATO above should have U.S. AIR FORCE on the side of the fuselage.


08-07-2005, 09:31 PM
As mentioned, I've read that wartime photos were censored and that the radomes were removed from pictures.

Interesting little tidbit of history. It obviously escaped the 3D modeler.

08-08-2005, 12:39 AM
Thank you all for replies!


The radome was carried on the aircraft belly between the bomb bays and was partially retractable.
Yes, this quote is what I found when I searched the forum prior to starting this thread. Maybe the photos already show the radar in retracted position and on other photographs, the rest of the radome was censored.


wartime sensors did remove it from pics, however i dont know if they where on every b29.
I also don't know, but the AN/APQ-13 was a standard part of B-29 equipment.


Our B-29 doesn't have RATO packs, either.
I emphasized the RATO picture to point out this fact: If you need RATO to accelerate your take-off, there's no reason to increase drag with radar radome that can be retracted. But it seems it's a post-war picture (the radom has a slightly different shape, like on B-29 photos from Korea)

I'll wait if some more info comes and then post it in the Possible Improvements thread. It would be nice to have uncensored Superfortresses http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif