The bomb in all forms, large and small, is one of the deadliest things in world history. Whether it’s the force of a falling feather, or god himself, they have been essential to warfare since the creation of gunpowder. Now imagine that power in a plane. The ability to rain down horror on your enemies from the safe distance of the stars. It’s a great way to win a war and the history of the machinery behind it is even more spectacular. Let’s get started.
1934- The Army Air Corps purchases it’s first stategic bombers. Called the Y1B-17, It could fly 256 miles per hour at 30,600 feet with a range of 3,320 miles.
1943- After the start of WW2, first Britain’s Royal Air Force then the U.S Army Air Corps purchased thousands of B-17s and used them extensively in Europe.
1945- Boeing produces an advanced aircraft called the B-29. It has a pressurized cabin, electronic fire control system, and remote controlled machine gun turrets. The Army Air Corps used it extensively in the Pacific Theater.
1951- The jet age starts, and the Boeing B-47 “Stratojet” is produced. It featured a new swept wing design to accommodate its six engine, jet powered performance. The aircraft never saw combat.
1955- Boeing’s bomber heritage is used to build the eight engine, all jet B-52. When it entered service in 1955, it was to become the longest serving bomber ever.
1960- In March 15, 1960 the first supersonic bomber is put into service by the United States Air Force. It had a delta wing and could fly at Mach 2. It could also climb at 17,400 feet per minute fully loaded.
1986- “Operation El Dorado Canyon” takes place, in which several EF-111s and F-111s supported by F/A-18s bombed suspected terrorist operations.
There is much to be said that I did not include here. If you would like to find out more, make sure to research on your own! Hope you enjoyed!