Convair B-36 Peacemaker visiting Canada

Convair B-36 Peacemaker

(RCAF Photo via Chris Charland)

Convair B-36H Peacemaker (Serial No. 52-1356), 11th Bombardment Wing, Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, Texas, intercepted by a pair of CF-100 Mk. 5's from No. 428 "Ghost" AW (F) Squadron. CF-100 Mk. 5 (Serial No. 18580), coded HG-580, RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario.

(City of Ottawa Archives, Photo CA040731)

Convair B-36H Peacemaker (Serial No. 52-1356), 11th Bombardment Wing, four Canadair CT-133 Silver Stars, three Avro CF-100 Canucks, two CT-128s, and an L-23 at RCAF Uplands, Ontario, 25 September 1956.

The Convair B-36 Peacemaker was a strategic bomber that was 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 has the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built, at 230 ft (70 m). The B-36 was the first bomber capable of delivering any of the nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal from an internal bomb bay 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 is capable of intercontinental flight without refueling. 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. (Wikipedia)

On 18 March 1953, RB-36H-25, 51-13721, flew off course in bad weather and crashed near Burgoyne's Cove, Newfoundland, Canada (48.184352°N 53.664271°W). Brigadier General Richard Ellsworth was among the 23 airmen killed in the crash.    

B-36s were involved in two "Broken Arrow" incidents. On 13 February 1950, B-36 (Serial No. 44-92075), crashed in an unpopulated region of British Columbia, resulting in the first loss of an American atom bomb. The bomb's plutonium core was dummy lead, but it did have TNT, and it detonated over the ocean before the crew bailed out. Locating the crash site took some effort. On 4 November 2016, however, an object similar to the bomb was reported to have been located by a diver near the archipelago of Haida Gwaii, 80 km (50 mi) off the coast of British Columbia; the Royal Canadian Navy said vessels would be deployed to investigate the object. After investigation, the Royal Canadian Navy determined that it was not the lost bomb. Later in 1954, the airframe, stripped of sensitive material, was substantially destroyed in situ by a U.S. military recovery team. (Wikipedia)

(USAF Photo)

A U.S. Air Force Convair B-36B-1-CF Peacemaker (Serial No. 44-92033) of the 7th Bombardment Wing in flight, in 1949. This aircraft was retired to the MASDC on 19 November 1956.

(Author Photos)

Convair B-36J Peacemaker (Serial No. 52-2827), 95th Bomb Wing. Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona.

(Ted Quackenbush Photo, 2 Aug 1976)

Convair B-36J-111 Peacemaker (Serial No. 52-2217A), C/N 358.  This aircraft was manufactured by the Fort Worth Division of General Dynamics Corporation and delivered to the Strategic Air Command on 22 December 1953.

(Alan Wilson Photo)

Consolidated RB-36H-30-CF Peacemaker (Serial No. 51-13730), S. Castle Air Museum, Atwater, California.

(NMUSAF Photo)

Convair B-36J Peacemaker (Serial No. 52-2220), C/N 361.

(NMUSAF Photo)

Convair B-36J Peacemaker (Serial No. 52-2220), C/N 361.  Avro CF-100 Canuck on the right.

The B-36 made its maiden flight in August 1946, and in June 1948 the Strategic Air Command received its first operational B-36.  Some B-36s served as photographic reconnaissance aircraft, and others were adapted to launch and retrieve specially modified RF-84F/K reconnaissance planes.  Powered by six Pratt & Whitney R-4360 engines, the B-36J cruised at 230 mph, but for additional bursts of speed its four General Electric J47s increased the maximum speed to 435 mph.  It carried 86,000 pounds of nuclear or conventional bombs.  When production ended in August 1954, more than 380 B-36s had been built for the USAF.  In 1958-1959, the USAF replaced the B-36 with the all-jet B-52.  Although never used in combat, the B-36 was a major deterrent to enemy aggression.  Making the last B-36 flight ever, the aircraft on display flew to the NMUSAF from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, on 30 April 1959.

(USAF Photo)

The final Convair B-36J Peacemaker, USAF (Serial No. 52-2827), took off from Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, marking the end of its service with the 95th Heavy Bombardment Wing, 12 February 1959. The aircraft's journey led it to Amon Carter Field in Fort Worth, Texas, where it was showcased as a static display. With the retirement of this last active-duty B-36, the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command transitioned entirely to a fleet composed of jet bombers.

(USAF Photo)

The FICON (Fighter Conveyor) program was conducted by the United States Air Force in the 1950s to test the feasibility of a Convair B-36 Peacemaker bomber carrying a Republic F-84 Thunderflash parasite fighter in its bomb bay. Earlier wingtip coupling experiments included Tip Tow, which were attempts at carrying fighters connected to the wingtips of bombers. Tom-Tom followed the FICON project afterwards.

(USAF Photo)

The Convair XC-99 was a unique creation that measured 182 feet in length, had a wingspan of 230 feet, and was over 50 feet in height.

(NMUSAF Photo)

The Convair XC-99, AF Ser. No. 43-52436, was a prototype heavy cargo aircraft built by Convair for the United States Air Force. It was the largest piston-engined land-based transport aircraft ever built, and was developed from the Convair B-36 Peacemaker bomber, sharing the wings and some other structures with it. The first flight was on 24 November 1947 in San Diego, California, and after testing it was delivered to the Air Force on 26 May 1949. The Convair Model 37 was a planned civil passenger variant based on the XC-99 but was not built. (Wikipedia)

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