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Posted: 3/31/2002 2:59:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:00:42 AM EDT
A nuclear powered strategic bomber is one of the sillier ideas to come out of the Air Force. Can you imagine the problems caused by the spread of radiation when one of these things crashed? I think it was a case of "the navy has nuclear powered ships, we gotta have nuclear power too".
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 10:47:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By marvl: A nuclear powered strategic bomber is one of the sillier ideas to come out of the Air Force. Can you imagine the problems caused by the spread of radiation when one of these things crashed? I think it was a case of "the navy has nuclear powered ships, we gotta have nuclear power too".
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Shame, because a aircraft that never has to land would be a very good thing. But maybe if they can get a small fusion reactor to work the idea will come again. Another neat B-36 trick was the "FiCon" or "fighter conveyer" in which the bomb bay doors were removed and instead fitted with a docking cradle that allowed a F84, or RF84, to be carried semi recessed under the belly- and be launched AND recovered from there. When in the cradle the fighter could be refuelled. When in the bomb bay, the pilot could get in and out and take a rest in the B-36. (B-36's took so long to get anywhere they had beds, toilets, and a galley) A nice thermonuclear powered flying wing that could dock 4 or so of the drone fighters that Boeing is working on, or a couple of F-22's would be interesting...
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 10:48:49 AM EDT
I get the Discovery Wings channel through my DirecTV package, and they had a program dedicated to the nuclear aircraft program. Pretty cool idea.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 12:21:34 PM EDT
Did the B-36 have 6 push props?
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 12:26:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JIMBEAM: Did the B-36 have 6 push props?
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That is correct. They were later retro fitted with an aditional 4 jet engines to increse their speed. (2 on each wing in a b-52 style engine pod) They used to say they had '6 turning and 4 burning'.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 12:37:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JIMBEAM: Did the B-36 have 6 push props?
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Yeah. There was one at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth as a static display. BIG airplane. Six PW twin row double compound radial piston engines in pusher configuration and jet engines on pylons on the outside of the wings. Total of ten powerplants if memory serves. There were passageways in the wings for inflight access to the six piston engines for inflight maintenance. B-36 was called the Peacemaker in the 1950's. Every day B-36's on departure from Carswell used to pass over where I lived in rural Texas. I'll never forget that low frequency roar of a '36 going over. I used to lie on my back and strain to catch a glimpse of one. Never did! The '36 was designed during War2 to be able to bomb Germany from bases in the USA in the event England was lost to the Nazi's. Way back when there was a jet-powered "midget fighter" designed to ride in the forward bomb-bay that was going to provide escort, but the process of "hooking" back up was never perfected. The advent of the B-47 made the '36 instantly obsolete. Big old airplane.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 12:49:03 PM EDT
I thought so my Dad flew on a B-36, probably mid to late fifties. He has some interesting stories on keep them in the air for several hours and simulated bombing runs. He said that sometimes they would run the engines so lean, to conserve fuel, that they had to rebuilt them when they landed. He also talked about the damage done to the aircraft attempting to get away from a simulated atomic bomb drop.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 7:49:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2002 7:54:44 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Originally Posted By Arock: Way back when there was a jet-powered "midget fighter" designed to ride in the forward bomb-bay that was going to provide escort, but the process of "hooking" back up was never perfected. The advent of the B-47 made the '36 instantly obsolete. Big old airplane.
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Yes the F-85 Goblin. Only flew once, it survived, but the test pilot was scared to death of it. And they never tried it again, lacking the computer technology we have today there was no way to keep the inherently unstable little fighter going straight. Today, we could do the same thing no problem. Now the docking concept worked VERY well. F-84's and RF-84's flew operationally from RB and EB versions of the B-36's. There was no problem with docking and hauling in the fighters- but a B-36 so equipped could not carry bombs. Hence the attempt to build the Goblin that could be carried internally in just half the bomb bay. The concept was set aside after the Goblin failure for a couple or three years, then after the end of the Korean war, when the B-36's were being withdrawn as bombers and used for ELINT. The Russians considered it to be good sport to shoot down any US aircraft anywhere near their borders at the time. So they brought back the concept, using the modernized F-84F and the RF-84. They flew operationally, but the Russians gave THESE particular US aircraft a wide birth, so they never got to test it out in combat, which might have prolonged the concepts life had they bagged a couple MiG's Though it worked very well, the "FiCon" was undone by the obselecence of the F-84. The F-100 was too big to fit without major reconstruction- and the F100 also was rapidly obsoleted. So even the RB-36's were retired, although their size and internal capacity made them EXTREMELY useful for many survailance tasks. Its replacements were various converted airliners such as the Super Constillation (EC-121) and Boeing 707 (EC-135)
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:03:58 PM EDT
In one critical respect, the B-36 Peacemaker was the only entirely successfull bomber ever made, because it never was used to drop a bomb in anger. But, once an inert practice bomb from a B-36 hit an unoccupied schoolhouse and did some damage. The B-36, being a deterrent weapon, was completely successful in its mission because it DID help to deter the enemy. Among pieces and parts, the main landing gear was the single most unique feature of the plane, since the main gear tires were about TEN feet tall each! I'm sure there's not one flyable example in the world today, but there are a few that escaped the scrapper's torch. I predict that at least one will be made flyable in the next few years with the aid of the Confederate Air Force, Valiant Air Command, or the Collings Foundation. It would be nice to see one fly again. CJ
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:12:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: In one critical respect, the B-36 Peacemaker was the only entirely successfull bomber ever made, because it never was used to drop a bomb in anger. But, once an inert practice bomb from a B-36 hit an unoccupied schoolhouse and did some damage. The B-36, being a deterrent weapon, was completely successful in its mission because it DID help to deter the enemy. Among pieces and parts, the main landing gear was the single most unique feature of the plane, since the main gear tires were about TEN feet tall each! I'm sure there's not one flyable example in the world today, but there are a few that escaped the scrapper's torch. I predict that at least one will be made flyable in the next few years with the aid of the Confederate Air Force, Valiant Air Command, or the Collings Foundation. It would be nice to see one fly again. CJ
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There used to be the fuselage of a B-36 behind one of the hangers at Chino CA, I used to see it when I went for CAF airshows in the 80's. They kept collecting money trying to get it restored.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:13:16 PM EDT
This is a vey interesting thread! Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:22:49 PM EDT
Not a single picture?
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:23:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2002 8:43:41 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
A Air Force Museum link for the FiCon project. [url]http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/history/postwwii/ficon.htm[/url] Republic F-84 "Special Projects" page, also from Wright Patterson AFB. [url]http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/fighter/f84sp.htm[/url] McDonnell XF-85 Goblin- with a suprising whitewash of the problems this aircraft had just in flying [url]http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/fighter/f85.htm[/url] I am surprised that they explained the end of the parisite fighter program by saying "inflight refueling proved a better way to increase the range of fighters" Thats BS cause these fighters cold refuel from their parent aircraft. And the Goblin could be completely rearmed as well, and both types could switch out pilots when they got exhausted. GRB-36's and RF-84K's were used through 1956. Oddly enough they were retired just when the dramatic apperance of the Sidewinder missile made the F-84's and F-86's far from vulnerable against the new supersonic MiG-19. Taiwanese F-86's shot down 16 MiG's with 21 missiles one day in the summer of 1956.
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 8:32:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 9:11:35 PM EDT
Out of 386 Peacemaker's produced, only 5 have survived. None are flyable at this time, and one of the five is the XC-99 cargo variant. Awesome plane,physically the largest bomber ever produced by the U.S. (230 ft. wingspan) only aircraft we had capable of carrying some of the bigger bombs. Could flyaround 10,000 miles unrefueled causing some missions to last nearly 2 days. Unfrigginbelievable!
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 9:18:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2002 9:22:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2002 9:23:52 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Originally Posted By DoubleFeed: If the XC-99 is the cargo plane variant of the B-36, what is the cargo plane variant of the B-29? I had thought the C-99 was the cargo variant of the B-29.
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C-97 was the most common cargo varient of the B-29/B-50 series. They were mostly built with R-4350's and auxilary jet engines. So technicly they were cargo versions of the B-50. Most were built with the "flying boom" system as KC-97 tankers.
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