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Convair B-36 Peacemaker

In the early Cold War, the Convair B-36 was the symbol of American ability to deliver nuclear weapons anywhere in the world.  Belief in it's deterrent ability lead to the nickname Peacemaker.

The design of the B-36 began in 1941 when the U.S. contemplated the possibility that Nazi Germany would control all of Europe and that the U.S. would only be able to strike Germany from bases in the U.S.  The demand for range dictated the new bomber's size.

In late 1941, the U.S. entry into World War II shifted priority to aircraft with more immediate application.  It wasn't until 1946 that the first prototype flew.

The first B-36s were delivered to the U.S. Air Force in 1948.  The B-36 added jet engines to increase take-off weight and speed over target and was also used in a reconnaissance role (RB-36).  Other roles included experiments in carrying it's own fighter escort or reconnaissance aircraft to extend it's range and carrying an active atomic reactor.

The last B-36s were retired in 1959, replaced by the Boeing B-52.

     
Specifications (B-36J)

Designations

 

 

 

Type: Bomber
Engines: six 3,800 hp (2834 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-4360-53 radial piston engines and four 5,200 lb (2359 kg) thrust General Electric J47-GE-19 turbojets (six turning and four burning)
B-36: Bomber version
RB-36: Bomber/reconnaissance version
GRB-36: Reconnaissance version carrying a parasite fighter aircraft
NB-36: Experimental version carrying a nuclear reactor
     

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B-36 Peacemaker
     

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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010