Thursday, January 29, 2009

B-36 Peacemaker

The Convair B-36 (nicknamed Peacemaker) was a strategic bomber built by Convair and operated solely by the United States Air Force (USAF). The B-36 was the largest mass-produced piston engined aircraft ever made and had the largest wingspan in a combat aircraft ever built (230 ft (70 m)), although there have been larger military transports. The B-36 was the first bomber capable of delivering thermonuclear weapons from within a fully-enclosed bomb-bay. With a range of over 6,000 miles (9,700 km) and a maximum payload of at least 72,000 lb (33,000 kg), the B-36 was the first operational bomber with an intercontinental range, setting the standard for subsequent USAF long range bombers, such as the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer, and B-2 Spirit.

Here's an incredible video clip I hope you can access. It’s a trip into the past. Where did we get such men (& machines!)? The first aircraft big enough to carry the first H-bomb weighed 46,000 pounds, and it could fly 60 hours without refueling!!!

"Strategic Air Command" (the movie) was filmed in Tampa at MacDill AFB. Enjoy this incredible sight (5.5 minute clip). Whoever created this clip took some great shots of the interior. Remember, "Six Turnin' and Four Burnin"".. .the six props and the four jets that were hung out on the wing to help the production models get off the ground.

Worth it for the sound - six piston and four jet engines. You will also see Jimmy Stewart on the jump seat. Look at all those instruments and engine controls at the Flight Engineer station. Also note that the Co-Pilot controls the jet engines while the Flight Engineer controls the pistons.

Additional note, thanks to Mitch Miller:
If I'm correct, the flight engineer (seated next to Jimmy Stewart) is none other than Harry Morgan (Col Sherman T. Potter of MASH fame). Listen closely to his voice as he reads a portion of the checklist. Mitch

Our Crew Colleague, Don Byrnes replied with an e-mail about this very B-36 flick playing a significant role in his military decision which resulted in his becoming a USAF pilot. See his Comment posted below......(click on: Comments).

1 comment:

Hans and Diane said...

Hi Dick

I just got a chance to watch the B-36 video. I remember seeing that flick when I was in high school and was really turned on by the scene where the '36 is skimming through the tops of the clouds. I vowed on the spot that I was going to do that someday. About three years later I was an Aviation Cadet and on my way.

Thanks for the great memory.

Don Byrnes
Former 1st ATS AC