Splitting the Bomber

Today’s Poster. It’s a classic example of what’s known as an ‘exploded diagram’ where all the parts are arrayed at a small distance as though caught in a frozen moment of explosion. Ironic here, as the aircraft in question is a bomber, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

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This is from the Smithonian’s collection, entitled ‘You help build the B-29’; and is catalogued: “1945: Photo Relief Halftone/Screen print: Black and white photographic image superimposed on blue, white, red, and black military aviation print promoting aircraft production. Photographic image of a B-29 with illustration of moving propellers, and a black and white schematic illustration of the plane’s components on a blue background.”

Ir’s constructed from a photograph of a real B-29, with airbrushed propeller discs and a ink line drawing of the airframe main components. Exploded diagrams are used for many jobs including general interest, but usually having a practical role, as here intended to help American men and women building this soon to be nuclear bomber understand where their bit of work fitted into the whole.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

From the Smithsonian’s online catalogue here.

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