Even with its large size and weight, the B-29 has just about the same flying qualities as smaller aircraft. Large aircraft are usually slower in responding to the pilot's controls because of their larger inertia. The control forces on the B-29 are light, and even at low flying speeds the combination of light forces with the high inertia of the airplane seldom gives the pilot any impression of sluggishness or lack of control. Just after taking off, and again during the short interval of time while landing, the rudder and the aileron control response is slow but it is still positive. The controls are as good and in many ways better than those of many small aircraft.
The elevator control is almost exactly like that on the B-17. The size of the horizontal tail is exactly the same except that the B-29 elevators have a little more balance and the nose of the tail airfoil section is turned up so that the tail does not stall when making a power-on approach to a landing with the flaps full down. Elevator trim tab is extremely sensitive in high-speed dives, and you must be careful not to over-control the airplane when flying with the trim tab. Overloading of the tail surfaces and other portions of the airplane may occur. Also, avoid diving in rough air.
The ailerons are large and can move the largest possible amount (18° up or down), so that the pilot has good control. The control wheel travel is greater than that now on the B-17. This extra control is valuable if an engine fails just after takeoff; or when, for some reason, fuel is used on one side of the airplane only and the other wing gets heavy. The effect of unbalanced amounts of fuel in the two sides is noticeable in the aileron control when flying straight and level. If you allow the speed to approach the stalling speed, the amount of aileron needed to offset uneven wing weights increases rapidly. Don't attempt a landing when this unevenness exists until you check the aileron control in flight at the landing speed.
The aileron trim tabs are geared to move when the ailerons move. The shape of the wing airfoil contour is such that the part covered by the ailerons has a hollow on top and is full on the bottom. If the control cables are cut during combat, the ailerons would ordinarily trim down because of this shape. To avoid this, the trim tabs are rigged down 1 inch at the trailing edge to trim the ailerons more nearly neutral if a cable is cut or broken.
The rudder gives the maximum possible control and stability, yet it can be moved without the help of power boosts. The diamond shape of the rudder is the result of studies made to find a rudder which behaves normally under all flight conditions. A good rudder is one that can be moved with a small amount of effort when an engine fails at any speed and does not become overbalanced or locked. Don't be confused by the light B-29 rudder forces—they do not tell you what the rudder is doing to the airplane. In landing approach conditions, it is possible to get an appreciable amount of skid with slight effort. Remember, it takes a certain amount of time to skid a large airplane and also to stop the skid.
When you trim the rudder, trim it to obtain equal pedal pressures.
The longitudinal stability of the B-29 is normal for all conditions. For good flying characteristics, however, the center of gravity (CG) must be kept within the allowable limits. The forward center of gravity limits are fixed by structural strength, and the elevator control for these forward limits is good for all normal operations. The most rearward center of gravity limit is determined by the longitudinal instability which occurs at climbing power. Going aft of this limit makes the airplane difficult to fly and decreases the safety of the airplane.
Make every possible effort to keep the center of gravity within the design limits and to keep the gross weight of the airplane to the absolute minimum for the mission to be performed. Use a weight-and-balance slide rule before and during every flight.
|GROSS WEIGHT (pounds)
||INDICATED STALLING SPEEDS (mph)
|WARNING: DO NOT STALL THE AIRPLANE WITH THE COWL FLAPS OPEN MORE THAN 10°
In spite of its size and weight, the B-29 has good maneuverability. It controls easily and turns easily:
SHALLOW TURN .. ½ NEEDLE...
STEEP TURN .. FULL NEEDLE ... 25 to 30°
The B-29 is limited in its allowable diving speed by both strength limitations and control characteristics. Again, remember that this is a big, heavy airplane. As the speed increases, the loads carried by nearly every part of the airplane increase rapidly. This is especially true of the horizontal tail surfaces.
It is red lined at 300 MPH indicated
This speed is sufficiently above the level-flight, top speed of the airplane to cover most diving needs.
At high altitudes, you experience compressibility effects such as buffeting of wings and tail, extremely large elevator trim changes, and control ineffectiveness. For this reason, when flying at high altitude, reduce the red-line speed in accordance with the "altitude-in-thousands— maximum airspeed" table mounted beside the airspeed indicator.
The folloing maneuvers are prohibited:
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