On this day in Aviation history - The Peacemaker retires

On this day in aviation history, the Convair B-36J-1-CF Peacemaker, serial number 52-2220, landed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, completing the very last flight ever made by one of the giant Cold War-era bombers. It is on the collection of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Convair B-36J 52-2220 was among the last group of 33 B-36 bombers built. It was operated by an aircraft commander/pilot, co-pilot, two navigators, bombardier, two flight engineers, two radio operators, two electronic countermeasures operators and five gunners, a total 16 crewmembers. Frequently a third pilot and other additional personnel were carried.

The bomber is 162 feet, 1 inch long with a wingspan of 230 feet and overall height of 46 feet, 9 inches. The empty weight is 171,035 pounds and combat weight is 266,100 pounds. Maximum takeoff weight is 410,000 pounds.

Designed during World War II, nuclear weapons were unknown to the Consolidated-Vultee engineers. The bomber was built to carry up to 86,000 pounds of conventional bombs in two bomb bays. It could carry the 43,600 pound T-12 Cloudmaker, a conventional explosive earth-penetrating bomb, or several Mk.15 thermonuclear bombs. By combining the bomb bays, one Mk.17 25-megaton thermonuclear bomb could be carried.


For defense, the B-36J had six retractable defensive gun turrets and gun turrets in the nose and tail. All 16 guns were remotely operated. Each position mounted two M24A1 20 mm autocannons. 9,200 rounds of ammunition were carried.

Between 1946 and 1954, 384 B-36 Peacemakers were built. They were never used in combat. Only five still exist. My favorite scene of the B-36 is in “Stategic Air Command” most of you all probably are not aware of this movie @Maxmustang is I bet.

Jimmy Stewart walks out to his B-36, and gets onboard and takes off. What makes this scene much more cooler is that Jimmy Stewart actually flew the B-36! He flew the B-36 and other bombers retiring as a one star General, he is the highest ranking Hollywood actor to date still.

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I love how they were just like need a bit more thrust, lets just throw some jets on the ends. Actually are those jets? Sure looks like it.

EDIT: ya, they are, just watched the video

Well by some technicality Regan would have put ranked him, though I think there’s a notable difference between working your way up, and being elected to the top, but it’s not technically wrong to say Regan would probably have that title as commander in chief is about as high as it goes. But then again to quote a kids TV show “experience outranks everything”

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Close! But President Regan was a Captain in the Army, the President isn’t a Military officer. lol

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I guess your right, cool plane either way, sounds pretty cool…

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Lol thats why I am here for you haven’t heard from yea in a real while hope you’re well!

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I’m great, hope your good too. The shot in the video where it tracks it as it takes off is a pretty epic one. That’s some crazy good flying and camera work…

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@RotorGuy. MaxSez: Oh Rotor Guy, I remember this airplane well. I also remember actor, General Jimmy Stewart of SAC a WWII Combat Bomber Pilot, meet him once as an adult at a Marine Corps birthday celebration. A real Gentleman General.

I saw the Peacemaker at a VetDay flyover and fireworks display at the old Philadelphia terminal only a few hours from my house in the early 50’s
It emitter “the sound of freedom” in these days when A nuclear war with the USSR was in the winds.

“Duck and Cover! and under the desk was practice periodically in the school house. When you were Young fear is a horrible thing. I hope the practice is never required again.

Do Good Work, Max

(I still watch the SAC film in reruns, the long haul alerts and the Mayday sequence always gets my attention)

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I love Jimmy Stewart. He was a real genuine person from what everyone said, I just was watching a video of him, Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson. Basically Ed and Jimmy took over the show and Ed interviewed Jimmy it was great!

My favorite story of Jimmy Stewart comes from Rich Little, I guess Jimmy Stewart didn’t have any fences at his house and so people would typically have a picnic on his yard, and Rich Little asked Jimmy if he was going call the police and Jimmy said “no no no they seem like nice people” and went out to the back of his house and turned the sprinklers on LOL, he sure is missed .

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I don’t want to bump an old topic, but I have to this time. I love the B-36, it’s an awesome plane! I thought I knew so much about this plane, turns out I didn’t, I learned so much just from this one topic. Your #real-world-aviation topics are always so great and informative, thanks for sharing! Now if only I had seen this sooner, why was I so late to the party? 🤔

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Even i am not still born the day the B36 are still souring high in the skies, as a millenial who have interests in Classical aviation, Id still want to hear them on my house. not only on YT.

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