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.