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Im thinking the window sequence and the shadow (possible a prop?) Might be your best help. My dad bought this photo and him nor I can figure it out. I work at a dang airport, too! TIA.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I don't suppose you can make out any part of the tail number up close? That would ease in cross-checking the proposed answers. $\endgroup$ – bartonjs Feb 17 '17 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ It's possible that there is a caption or some other traceable information on the back of the print. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Morton Feb 18 '17 at 19:06
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It's most likely a Boeing B-29 Superfortress. It was a strategic bomber used by the US in the Pacific theater of World War II. The lower row of four windows and then another further aft matches pictures of the B-29. The "U.S. AIR FORCE" markings are a post-WWII style.

B-29 Source

It's also possible that it's a B-50 Superfortress. This was an upgraded version of the B-29 with new engines and other changes that are hard to see in the picture. Only 370 were built. Although it's not clear when the picture was taken, and only 5 examples of the B-50 still exist. The B-29, on the other hand, has way more.

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    $\begingroup$ As another fun fact, only two of either type are still able to fly. Both B-29s, one named "Doc" and the other named "Fifi". FIfi has been touring the country for years (I'm not sure if Doc has started doing that yet), and you can get a flight on one if you have the cash. $\endgroup$ – Jay Carr Feb 17 '17 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ I've not found been able to find any photograph online of a straight B-29 with the "U.S. AIR FORCE" markings in the position shown in the photo in the question. KB-29s and B-50s appear to have been painted that way. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 18 '17 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby yeah, most don't have that scheme. But this site has pictures of a bunch of surviving examples, and four of them have the large lettering. $\endgroup$ – fooot Feb 18 '17 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @fooot Ironically, I might have actually seen one of those... Though it doesn't seem to have the lettering any more. (Not that this is relevant; you've clearly shown that there have been B-29s with the lettering.) $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 18 '17 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. We head a B29 here at KLZU for a week or so, I saw it flying today near KPDK. It's a huge aircraft. Not sure if it was "Doc" or "FIFI", could not get the right angle on the aircraft to view the tail numbers sitting at the airport. $\endgroup$ – Doug Ryan Oct 24 '18 at 0:09
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Boeing typically has the tight airforce markings near the nose. The photo bears heavy resemblance to the kb-50 as its lower nose portion fit the look when you zoom in on the OPs image you can see the window matching more then the kb-97, was just so big..

KB-97

kb-97

KB-50

kb-50

Either way they are both variants of the previous answer.

turret and no turret comparison images below. with turret with out turret

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  • $\begingroup$ Why specifically the tanker variants (KB-xx rather than B-xx)? $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 18 '17 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ I am categorically leaning towards the KB-50 as a match. $\endgroup$ – PCARR Feb 18 '17 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ The B-50 has a turret on the upper forward portion of the fusalage. The OPs image is lacking the bump that would show a rise to the 50 cal weapon system. The increase tail height was a modification from the B-29 to the B-50. At this point with the information that has been presented, we are as close to a match as we can get. Now if the OP could post a date of the photo and who took the photo that could help us narrow it down to the era. Judging by the image quality and that it appears to be in sepia, I would say it is a more recent photo. Older prints would have a more grainy appearance $\endgroup$ – user7578030 Feb 18 '17 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ It's not clear that the turret would be visible from the angle the photograph was taken from, but I see your point. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 18 '17 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ I will add some images to my answer. $\endgroup$ – user7578030 Feb 18 '17 at 19:37
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If I were to guess I'd say the picture is of the B-50 at the Pima Air Museum.

http://s10.photobucket.com/user/deattilio/media/Arizona%2008/Pima%20Air%20Museum/IMG_3206.jpg.html

https://www.flickr.com/photos/golftwo/4510556800

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  • $\begingroup$ The blind windows show that the plane was decommissioned a long time before the photo was taken. Good guess! +1 $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Feb 19 '17 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like that plane has now been restored to its original shiny splendor. $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Feb 20 '17 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ This page is about the restoration is dated April 8, 2014 and says the restoration took six months. Thus we know that the OP's picture was taken before October 8, 2013. :-) $\endgroup$ – user3347790 Feb 20 '17 at 6:07

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