Air Force B-36J Peacemaker


The B-36 was an intercontinental bomber whose design was begun during World War II. The above aircraft was among the last to be built in 1954. It has ten engines; six piston driven propellers and four jet engines! The propellers are driven by R-4360s, a piston engine featuring 28 cylinders. That's 168 cylinders on this aircraft! The poor flight Engineer... or fueler! This particular B-36 was flown to the museum in 1959 on what was to become the very last flight of a B-36 ever. According to a pilot I met at the museum, whose father had flown this very aircraft, the B-36 could leave North America and cross the Atlantic, loiter over the Mediterranean for 10-15 hours then return home without refueling. The B-36 carried the first thermonuclear bomb, the Mk-17, shown below. It weighed a whopping 41,000 pounds and featured 3 and a half inch casing. Pilots reported the aircraft "leapt" several hundred feet after releasing the enormous weapon.

Click here to see inside the cockpit of this remarkable aircraft.
(Takes you to the museum's webpage)

Mk-17 Bomb


The XF-85 (above) was designed to be carried IN the bomb bay of larger intercontinental bombers like the B-36, to be released when attack by enemy fighters was imminent. Docking procedures were never perfected, and the aircraft never entered service.

Air Force Museum

Click on the link above to visit the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB.

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Copyright 2014, Ian A. Duncan
Revised - - 7/1/2014