Convair B-36 Peacemaker "1946"

The B-36 was under development in 1941 and first flew on August 8, 1946. The first operational models were delivered to SAC in 1948, but due to early problems the B-36 units were not fully operational until 1951. The B-36 cost $3.6 million each. It had a 3,740-nm combat radius with a 10,000-pound payload, or a 1,757-nm radius with a maximum bomb load of 86,000 pounds. The last B-36 was built in August 1954, for a total production of 388 aircraft. The B-36 force was modernized with the advent of the long range B-52. On 29 June 1955 the first B-52 was delivered to SAC. At that time there were 340 of the B-36s assigned

Convair B-36 "Peacemaker" "1946"

Role Strategic bomber
National origin United States
Manufacturer Convair
First flight 8 August 1946
Introduction 1948
Retired 12 February 1959
Primary user United States Air Force
Produced 1946–1954
Number built 384
Variants Convair XC-99 / Convair NB-36H / Convair X-6
Developed into Convair YB-60

Consolidated / Convair Millitary aircraft

Convair / Consolidated / Vultee Aircraft

Convair B-36 Peacemaker (1946) – intercontinental bomber
Stinson 108 (1946) – general aviation aircraft
Consolidated B-24 – Consolidated PBY Catalina
Convair CV-240 (1947) Convair CV-340 Convair CV-440 Metropolitan
Convair C-131 Samaritan Convair CV-540 (1955) Convair CV-580
Convair CV-600 (1965) Convair CV-640 Convair CV 5800
Canadair CC-109 Cosmopolitan – licence built turboprop powered CV-440
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger (1953) – Convair B-58 Hustler (1956) – Convair F-106 Delta Dart (1956) –
Convair 880 (1959) – Convair 990 Coronado (1961) – Vultee BT-13 Valiant – Vultee A-13 Vengeance



B-36 Peacemaker "1946"

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B-36 Peacemaker "1946"

The Convair B-36 “Peacemaker” is a strategic bomber built by Convair and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1949 to 1959. The B-36 is the largest mass-produced piston-engined aircraft ever built. It had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built, at 230 ft (70.1 m). The B-36 was the first bomber capable of delivering any of the nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal from inside its four bomb bays without aircraft modifications. With a range of 10,000 mi (16,000 km) and a maximum payload of 87,200 lb (39,600 kg), the B-36 was capable of intercontinental flight without refuelling.

Entering service in 1948, the B-36 was the primary nuclear weapons delivery vehicle of Strategic Air Command (SAC) until it was replaced by the jet-powered Boeing B-52 Stratofortress beginning in 1955. All but four aircraft have been scrapped.

Operational History

The genesis of the B-36 can be traced to early 1941, prior to the entry of the United States into World War II. At the time, the threat existed that Britain might fall to the German “Blitz”, making a strategic bombing effort by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) against Germany impossible with the aircraft of the time.[2]

The United States would need a new class of bomber that would reach Europe and return to bases in North America,[3] necessitating a combat range of at least 5,700 miles (9,200 km), the length of a Gander, NewfoundlandBerlin round trip. The USAAC therefore sought a bomber of truly intercontinental range,[4][5] similar to the German Reichsluftfahrtministerium‘s (RLM) ultralong-range Amerikabomber program, the subject of a 33-page proposal submitted to Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering on 12 May 1942.


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Convair B-36 Peacemaker (1946)

  • AF Ser. No. 42-13571 was in the private collection of the late Walter Soplata in Newbury, Ohio.[65] This was the first prototype to be converted to the bubble canopy used on production B-36s. It was on display in the 1950s and 1960s at the former site of the Air Force Museum, now the National Museum of the United States Air Force, at Wright-Patterson AFB. When the museum’s current location at Wright-Patterson was being developed in the late 1950s, the cost of moving the bomber was greater than simply flying a different B-36 to the new location and the aircraft was slated to be scrapped. It was cut up at the old museum site by August 1972. Instead of being completely disposed of, Soplata bought it and transported the pieces by truck to his farm, where it sat until 2019, where it was bought by Planetags, and has since been cut up for tag


  • Crew: 13
  • Length: 162 ft 1 in (49.40 m)
  • Wingspan: 230 ft 0 in (70.10 m)
  • Height: 46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)
  • Empty weight: 166,165 lb (75,371 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 410,000 lb (185,973 kg)
  • Powerplant: 6 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360-53 Wasp Major 28-cylinder 4-row air-cooled radial piston engines, 3,800 hp (2,800 kW) each for take-off
  • Powerplant: 4 × General Electric J47 turbojet engines, 5,200 lbf (23 kN) thrust each in pylon mounted pods outboard of piston engines
  • Maximum speed: 435 mph (700 km/h, 378 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 230 mph (370 km/h, 200 kn)
  • Combat range: 3,985 mi (6,413 km, 3,463 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 10,000 mi (16,000 km, 8,700 nmi) [82]
  • Service ceiling: 43,600 ft (13,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,995 ft/min (10.13 m/s)
  • Armament

    • Guns: 1 remotely operated tail turret with 2× 20 mm (0.787 in) M24A1 autocannon
    • Bombs: 86,000 lb (39,009 kg) with weight restrictions, 72,000 lb (32,659 kg) normal

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By the end of World War II, the technological breakthroughs of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress and other modern types had surpassed the bombers that served from the start of the war. The B-24 was rapidly phased out of U.S. service, although the PB4Y-2 Privateer maritime patrol derivative carried on in service with the U.S. Navy in the Korean War.

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