The Amazing B-29 Had Computer Aided Remote Control Guns


In the early ‘40s Boeing spent more money to build the pressurized bomber than was invested in the entire Manhattan project. The result was a fascinating display of military technology that included anti-aircraft machine guns that used computers to compensate for airspeed, gravity, temperature, humidity and even the lead in aim needed to pinpoint an enemy target.

Remember that in this era, modern computers we so large they could fill an entire room and were given names like Colossus that quite accurately described their size. The B-29 had five computers; one for each machine gun.


The remote system not only used computers to improve targeting accuracy, it also allowed a single gunner to operate two or more turrets simultaneously. It also included a handoff system to allow gunners to take over control as was necessary to fight enemy aircraft of if one gunner was to become incapacitated.

The entire B-29 was truly and mid-century engineering masterpiece. There’s much more to the story and you can find out the full details about how the system works here.


Chris Clarke
Chris is an active pilot who love cars, airplanes and motorcycles.