The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History's historic B-29 Superfortress, one of only 17 complete aircraft of its kind left in existence, was the focus of a special initiative - during the spring and summer of 2015 - within “Operation Preservation," a two-year campaign to repaint and refurbish the iconic aircraft in the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History’s 9-acre outdoor exhibit area, Heritage Park.
The B-29 Superfortress served as a long-range, propeller-driven heavy bomber that carried a crew of 10-14 and was flown toward the end of World War II and during the Korean War. Built by Boeing - with a width of 141 feet and 3 inches, length of 99 feet and height of 29 feet and 7 inches - it was one of the largest aircraft to have seen service during WWII. At 70,000 pounds, and 135,000 pounds fully loaded, it was the heaviest production bomber built, and it could cruise above 30,000 feet, out of range of flak and most enemy fighters.
“The Museum’s historic B-29 actually never saw combat, as it was delivered to the Air Force just a few days before WWII ended,” said Jim Walther, Museum Director. “It was delivered on the very significant day of August 9, 1945, the same day the B-29 named the Bockscar dropped the plutonium bomb, Fat Man, on Nagasaki.”
After a brief stay in storage, the Museum’s B-29 was assigned to the 509th Bombardment (Very Heavy) Group stationed in Roswell AAFB, New Mexico, in 1946. During the late 40s, the 509th was heavily involved in the post-war testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific. After more modern bombers replaced B-29 aircraft, the Museum’s airplane became a part of a collection of historical aircraft on display at Chanute AFB in Illinois. The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History later acquired this particular aircraft in 1993.
Restoration of the B-29 began in April of 2015 under the supervision of Major Jerry Hanks, Project Manager, with help from Museum staff and volunteers and was funded by donations received from supporters and entities with personal ties to the Museum and the historic aircraft. Restoration included the B-29 receiving a new coat of primer and paint, bodywork to the aircraft, new cockpit windows and the vintage 509th Wing of the Strategic Air Command paint and trim.
The total B-29 restoration cost was approximately $110,000.
The Museum held a dedication ceremony on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, where dignitaries were present to publicly acknowledge the legacy and historical significance of the B-29 Superfortress.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History had launched an ambitious campaign through Kickstarter - a funding platform for creative projects, directly supported by individuals who pledge money - April 15 through May 15 - to purchase the paint for the restoration of the Museum’s iconic B-29 Superfortress.
Since one gallon of paint for the B-29 costs $460 and one gallon of primer costs $300, the Museum’s staff decided to incorporate Kickstarter in order to ‘kick start’ the fundraising aspect of the B-29 restoration project.
Approximately 1/3 of this cost was paid for by the Kickstarter campaign where the Museum raised $44,000 in a one-month time frame. This campaign reached its goal in the allotted time of one month, and the Museum was able to purchase paint and primer, prepare the surface of the aircraft and then paint the fuselage and wings!
It was through the amazing generosity of 516 backers that we reached our goal and exceeded it, reaching a total of $47,751!
In loving memory of Captain Martin Joseph and Mary Ruth Dirnbauer
Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Albert I. Pierce Foundation
Kirtland Federal Credit Union
Platinum Builders Corporation
Will Ferguson; Michael Clager; Laurence S. Costin; Jerry Adams; Milo and Ellen Myers; Kristine Stichman; John Stichman; Keith Tolk, Mac MacCloskey; American Society of Radiologic Technologists
Curtis M Mitchke; Leo S. Gomez Consulting; Holland Law PC; Daniel Cathers; John D. Shaw and Jan Lehmann-Shaw; Richard Rosenblatt; Stan Hubbard; Steve Rehnberg; Peter O. Mazur; Stephen Schnare; Brad Martin; Richard Craner; Hal Behl; Maj. Michael Ragsdale, US Army (Ret.)
Gary Hoe; Jerry Hanks; Kevin Modglin; Tom O'Connor; John Roberson; Dimas M. Chavez; Michael Strizich; Diana Story; Jackalie Blue; Kyran Mish; John Johnson; Gregg Franklin; Jim Slone; Thomas Rose
Christine Witkowski; CAPT Ron Farmer; BJ Hanks; Colin Cole; Brian R. Gallagher
Steven Norris-Saucedo; Wayne Smith; Richard boulay; Teresa Jordan-Culler
Donald Pettyjohn; Ralph Keyser; Sandy Fye; Craig Hollabaugh; Colonel Frank A Buethe, USMC Retired; Kathy Dye; Alison Schuler; Todd Mickelson; Jordan Voellinger; George Libman; Susan Van Disco; Col. Paul Sisul; Tyler Barnett; Jeffrey Wedding; Todd Erskine; Anthony F Argo; Paul Simons; John Tobey; Rod Rosenberg; Jose L Gonzalez; Don Pedersen; Dan Griffiths; In honor of Jack McVeigh; ; Richard Peebles; Jeffrey Dougan; Steven Shook; Terry O'Brien; Donald W Goodrich; Daniel King; PPC (Project Performance Company); Roger Zimmerman; Julian & Cerelle Hippeli; C. Barry Wingfield; Cynthia C. Kelly; Russell Higbee; Danial Storkson; Jerome Beckes; Todd A. Woods; Erik Sjoberg; Lorenzo Dutto; Andrew Bessette; Heather Schriner; Barbara Bays; James Culpepper; Ryan Dela; Stephen Johnson; Jeff Nielsen; B. James Lowe; Edmundo Corona; David Carroll; Kevin Hansel; Teresa Allison; Walker Aviation Museum Foundation; Russ Gritzo; Gwen Walcott; James Crichton; Frank & Janet Beuthien; Scott Kenna; Jeffrey Arnoldi; William Moffatt; Robert Couch; Gregory Walker; Anthony Piscitelli; Larry D Gregory; Nora Glassman; Mark Pulver; James Wertz; J. D. Huss Rowanne; Donby Mathieu; Gary Carman; James Dudley; Bernard Puroll; S.G. Luperti Boehm; J Johnson; Eric Anderson; Bob & Sherri Jackson; Stephanie Plummer; Eric; Tara Orr; Gloria E Chavez; Rene A Larricq; Dominick; Robert Lopatkin; SueEllyn Kunkel; Abby Lusk; Jeanne Eileen García; John; Gary Nordyke; Colin; Paul Dunnells; Scut; Shawn Offutt; Lew Suber; David Hoover; Jeffrey Mahn; James Walther; Damon Giovanielli; Eric Linak; Charlie Schmidt; David Becker; Gregory Shuman; Gwyneth Cravens; Mazy Fu; Marvin Morris; D. C. Duffy Jr.; H T Taylor Jr.; Jan Erickson; Ethan Aronson; Paulette; Robert Deurloo; Patti Roberts John & Elaine Anderson
Happy & Ian Pierce; Todd Binkley; Mike Dillon; Eric Olson; Mark Peycke; Bryan Melvin; Philip V Mann; Steve Shackley
Lauren and Leda Brubaker; Warbirds News; Steve; Richard V Budakowski; Robert W. Leeds; James Kaspar; Brian Thorn; Mark Scanel; Dan S; Jessie Moore; Jeff Weitkamp; Earl A Kreiser; Faye Hall Jackson; Robby Gaines; Daniel Saks; Peter Jason; Riley CPA; Dann Ward; Selena Connealy; Michael Werner; Glenna Thornton; Dan Vargas; Art Hurley; Bob Clark; Brian Cardoza; Beverly Shead; Chris Holley; Ron Greenwell; Douglas Van Camp; Michael Ballard; Alan Brayton; Kristine Dietriche; Jennifer Smith; Gregory Syrek; Grant Ford; Bob Dalpe; Hugh H Browne Jr; Steve S.; Stacy Decker; William Rehm; Alfred A. Lorber; Marlene Lorber; Darla Kreller; Jennifer Hayden; Eric Nelson; Jeff Lawson; Stephan; John Harrison; Robert David Sachs; Doug and Judy Wrobel; Zillo7; Jack Bogusch; Ray Davis; David Eyerman
Dottie & Larry Austin; David Ruggeri; Jeffrey J. Holliday; Jack Gleeson; Ej Jouret; Chris Miller; Adam Smith; James Mason Cox; Joseph Lan; Robert Risney; Jim Hawkins; Mathew Raikes; Craig Campbell; Tony Buman; Krystal; Kyan Ramirez; Harry Betz; Penne Ferris; Haz; Rob Logie; Johnny Lanctot; Matt Hudson; Nels Bruckner; Mike L; Roger S So; Beunka Sinclair; Richard Perry; Kiran Kadekoppa; Brian Shields; Mark D; Brendan Kenny; Robert Obma; Jess; William S. Young; Ronald Schwartz; Mike Spray; Delene Cox; Hans Vermeulen; James; Vasco Silva; Benjamin Thrasher; Sky Stevens; Andy; Patrick Huette; Steven Moore; Justin Mitzimberg; Liam Boone; Matthew Nemergut; Hans Fex; Edward Callander; Chris Morris; Seth Leary; Stephen T McMurray; Tye Sands; Chris Clark; Justin Faulkner; Ray Adams; Joshua Bauder; Katie Woolard; Karl Gass; Matt; Phil Bolenbaugh; Mayer Brenner; Shawn Simpson; Sominex; William Sumner; Brian Booth; Patrick; Nathan Bolander; Mark Lewus; The Reverend A.J. Miller; Jesse Hatcher; Lucy Ooi; Ben Mills; William Harmon; Yvonne E Moore; Stephen Gibbon; George Rodriguez; Denis Edelman; Barry Winters; Christina & Friends Barber Shop; Andrew Funk; Doyle Evins; Judi Murphy; Dale Folkins; Scott Ferguson; Lee Stafford; Stephen Carroll; Labbie; Michael; Neil Byers; Nathan Baca; Major Jay D. Bolan; Lulzmacher; Cory Jenks; Timothy Harder; Christeen Codini; Bill Jacklin; Monte Owens; Amy; Kelly Michals; Cynthia Kracauer; Norman Wendth; Ryan Brindley; Adric Menning; Evan Harsha; Jason Saulsberry; Mike Mulligan; A David Merritt; David Warthen; Nadine Scala; Troy Haskin; Russell Bennett; Kathleen Pehl; Brandon Davis; Paul Carbin; Anne; Greg White; Brian Igoe; Peter John Renslow; Juan A Torres; Janet Ratliff; Carson Keller; Jody Alan Wood Jr.; Walter Bowen; Thomas Lippert; Marcus Alexander Wolf; Scrooge; Steve Powell; Chris V; A W Scotsman; Camithril; D Kutz; Duane Franklund; Kyle Campbell; Anoosh Saidi; Milo Mills; Horizonblue; Michael McCaffrey; Amy Keller; John G.; Robert Timmons; Jason Mateo; Stephen "Hiroshi" Wykes; Michael James; James V; Evan Richardson; Heiko Maerz; Charlene Newhouse; Mark D; Per; Niko-chan; Andy Bright; Cheng; Andrea A; Dave Coulie; Kathryn Ainsworth; Kywa Hammond; Ryan Tafoya; James H. Lee Jr.; Elena Seaberg
Kevin Shaw; Owen Leen; Brad Stoddard; Rosemary Gergen; Lynn Wilson; William M. Baldwin; Robin; Lindsey; Lynn Jones; Trey Frazier; Taco Verdonschot; John Weeks; Henry Swantner; Matt Luchterhand; Edris Hoover; Robert Engelhardt; William W Moore Jr; Bubba Conway; Ian Goode; Michael; Neil Collins; Josh Raven; Danny King; Martin Cabel; Jeremy Johnson; John Heine; Timothy; Jonathan Shaver; Brian Zielinski; John McGrath; Brad Duncan; Robbie Vaughn; Widgett Walls; Waller Hastings; Luke DeVries; Sorin Lazareanu; Lola Mae James; Kevin Moore; Dave Matos; John W. Knox; Phil; Gerrit Gillespie; Conor Ford; Charlie Brown; Timothy Englert; Renee Diemel; Geoff Nicholson; Guy West-McDonald; Petr; Janice Pomeroy; Göran O. Bergström; Steve Scarlett; Kenneth Fletcher; Andrew E. C. Head; Justin; Yancey Strickler; Garth Minette; Mike Gu
Jan Jagos; Carlos Fortner; Bruce Sharer; Phillip Minke; Paracelsus; Mike OBrien; James Boyd; Martin Kent; William Reardon; John R.; Spacexer; Richard Smith; Henry Roenke; Frederick Fruner; Christopher Vazquez; Michael Pureka; Dave Shaver; Svend Andersen; Mike Petrucci; Bogdan Drema; Niels; Jim Flory; Donald Triplett III; Doug Holliday; Jim; Paul Elder; Tyler Jones; Adam Kee; Matthew; Michael D'Angelo; Nicole Janee, ; Christopher Shay' Philip; Mathew Rogers; Carlos Valdes; Dominik Dürst; Aaron Sifferman; Lia Kashdan; Richard Cockbill; Julian G; Krossblade Aerospace Systems LLC; Will Scott; MJ; Larry Loewenstein; Richard Partington; Spencer F
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will host "Science is Everywhere" Winter Day Camp 2019 for children who Pre-K through 7th grade. Experience the wonders of science in one-day sessions, December 23, 26, 27, 30 and January 2,3. Sessions include "Prankenstein" "Rocket Science," "Robots are Everywhere" "Electrifying" and many more!Learn More
With an agreement signed on June 24, 2019, the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History forged a new collaboration to preserve the history of the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Age. This significant agreement ensures the Atomic Heritage Foundation’s extensive collection of oral histories (Voices of the Manhattan Project), interpretive vignettes (Ranger in Your Pocket), and articles about the Manhattan Project and its legacy will remain available to the public for the foreseeable future.Learn More
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is pleased to offer single-day themed camps for the Winter Break, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Presidents Day. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day camp is geared to campers in grades 1-3 and grades 4-7, and this camp is "Things that Go Boom!" Everyone loves a good explosion. Witness big booms and make little ones. Using chemistry and physics you will learn about what makes it go boom. Come have a blast!Learn More