back American postwar aircraft

American postwar aircraft


Convair B-36 Peacemaker

The B-36 was under development in 1941 and first flew on August 8, 1946. The first operational models were delivered to SAC in 1948, but due to early problems the B-36 units were not fully operational until 1951. The B-36 cost $3.6 million each. It had a 3,740-nm combat radius with a 10,000-pound payload, or a 1,757-nm radius with a maximum bomb load of 86,000 pounds. The last B-36 was built in August 1954, for a total production of 388 aircraft. The B-36 force was modernized with the advent of the long range B-52. On 29 June 1955 the first B-52 was delivered to SAC. At that time there were 340 of the B-36s assigned. When the last B-36 was retired in 1959, for a service life of 8 years, there were almost 500 B-52 aircraft in the US bomber fleet The B-36, an intercontinental bomber, was designed during World War II. The airplane made its maiden flight Aug. 8, 1946, and, on June 26, 1948, the Strategic Air Command received its first B-36 for operational use. By the time production ended in August 1954, more than 380 B-36s had been built for the U.S. Air Force.

In 1958-59, the B-36 was replaced by the more modern B-52. During the years it was in service, the airplane was one of America's major deterrents to aggression by a potential enemy. The fact that the B-36 was never used in combat was indicative of its value in "keeping the peace."
General characteristics
Contractor Convair
Power plant Six Pratt & Whitney B 4360s turboshaft engines and four General Electric J47s auxiliary turbofan engines on pylons under wing.
Thrust turboshaft engines 6x 3,800 HP 6x 2,834 kW
turbofan engines 4x 5,200 lb 4x 23.13 kN
Speed max. 435 mph 700 km/h
cruising 230 mph 370 km/h
Range 10,000 miles 16,100 km
Wingspan 230 ft 70.1 m
Length 162 ft 1 in 49.4 m
Height 46 ft 9 in 14.04 m
Max. weight 410,000 lb 186,000 kg
Ceiling 45,700 ft 13,700 m
Armament Sixteen M24 20mm cannon in eight nose, tail and fuselage turrets,
86,000 pounds of conventional or nuclear bombs.
Unit cost $3,701,000

Jirka Wagner


Copyright All Rights Reserved