STRANGE OLDE BOMBERS - CONVAIR B-36 PEACEMAKER - PUSHER PROPELLER ENGINES AND JETS
Convair B-36 Peacemaker
The B-36D used both piston and jet engines.
Role Strategic bomber
National origin United States
First flight 8 August 1946
Retired 12 February 1959
Primary user United States Air Force
Number built 384
US$4.1 million (B-36D)
Variants Convair XC-99
Developed into Convair YB-60
The Convair B-36 "Peacemaker" was a strategic bomber built by Convair and operated solely by the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1949 to 1959. The B-36 was 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 refueling.
Entering service in 1948, the B-36 was the primary nuclear weapons delivery vehicle of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) until it was replaced by the jet-powered Boeing B-52 Stratofortress from 1955. All but five examples were scrapped.
The B-36 set the standard for range and payload for subsequent U.S. intercontinental bombers.