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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 159949
Last updated: 24 November 2020
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Date:24-APR-1953
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic B29 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing ETB-29A Superfortress
Owner/operator:2750th AFB Wg USAF (2750th AFB Wg United States Air Force)
Registration: 44-62093
C/n / msn: 11569
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Peconic Bay, Long Island, New York -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio
Destination airport:Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio
Narrative:
Boeing B-29A-60-BN Superfortress 44-62093: Assigned to 2750th Air Force Base Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. Delivered to USAAF 11 August 1945. Converted to ETB-29A for "Project Tip Tow", with experimental wing tip hookups with two EF-84Ds (48-641 and 48-661).

On 24 April 1953, a coupling and fully-towed flight was accomplished using the right-handed EF-84B, but no electrical power was received from the B-29. The right hand fighter uncoupled and the left hand fighter coupled with the B-29 and was retracted in the fully-locked towing position. The cockpit panel light indicated that electrical power was available from the B-29, and as soon as everything was trimmed and stabilized and the automatic flight control system was activated momentarily from the fighter. This resulted in a violent pitching motion of the EF-84B causing it to flip up and inward into the B-29. The B-29 outer wing panel crumpled and struck the main B-29 wing spar, shearing off the F-84 nose section before the two aircraft separated.

As Bud Anderson flew in formation on the right side of the Superfortress, John Davis brought the left-hand EF-84D into position and linked wingtips with the EB-29A. He transmitted, "Autopilot coming on" and then switched the autopilot on. It commanded hard nose-up elevator. Davis' Thunderjet rolled rapidly to the right onto the outer wing panel of the Superfortress. As the fighter rotated about the wing tip of the bomber, the explosive bolts fired to jettison the Thunderjet, but not in time to prevent the collision between the planes.

The left wing of the EB-29A failed outboard of the engines. The nose of the EF-84D broke away from the rest of the airplane. The B-29 went into a steep spiral and crashed into Peconic Bay, Long Island, NY and the F-84 crashed shortly thereafter. John Davis and five crew members aboard the EB-29A were killed in the accident. The other fighter, having unhooked, presumably landed safely.

The project 'Tip Tow' was immediately cancelled. However, Wing tip coupling experiments continued as Project "Tom-tom", using Convair JRB-36F 49-2707 and Republic RF-84F Thunderflashes 51-1848 and 51-1849 in 1955 and 1956.

Sources:

1. http://archiviostorico.unita.it/cgi-bin/highlightPdf.cgi?t=ebook&file=/archivio/uni_1953_04/19530426_0008.pdf
2. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1944_4.h]tml
3. http://www.air-and-space.com/Wing%20Tip%20Coupling%20B-29%20F-84.htm
4. [LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE:http://www.baaa-acro.com/1953/archives/crash-of-a-boeing-b-29a-60-bn-superfortress-into-the-peconic-bay-6-killed/]
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FICON_project#Project_MX-1016_.28Tip_Tow.29
6. https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/what-the-heck-were-they-thinking-b-29-project-tip-tow.18267/
7. http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Magazine%20Documents/2012/September%202012/0912flash.pdf
8. https://www.warhistoryonline.com/featured/airborne-aircraftcarriers-of-the-early-1950s-by-hans-wiesman.html

Media:

Boeing B-29 TomTom

Related books:

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
02-Sep-2013 17:00 TB Added
06-Oct-2013 20:51 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
04-Dec-2013 13:44 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
11-Jun-2017 19:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
15-Nov-2020 09:53 Sycak Updated [Operator, Operator]

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