B-36 Peacemaker 1946

The Convair B-36 was the largest bomber, in sheer physical size, that has ever gone into service with the USAF. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the B-36 was the mainstay of the USAF’s long-range strategic bombing deterrent. Serving primarily as a strategic deterrent, the B-36 never saw any combat, although some B-36 reconnaissance aircraft flew some rather hazardous missions near or perhaps even over Soviet territory during the height of the Cold War in the mid-1950s.

The origin of the B-36 can be traced back to the early days of 1941, at a time when it seemed that Britain might fall to a German invasion, depriving the USA of any European allies in case of war, and in particular, leaving the Army Air Corps without any bases outside the Western Hemisphere. Consequently, the Air Corps felt that it would need a truly intercontinental bomber with unprecedented range, one that could bomb targets in Europe from bases inside the continental USA. In search of such an aircraft, on April 11, 1941, the USAAC opened up a design competition for a bomber with a 450 mph top speed, a 275 mph cruising speed, a service ceiling of 45,000 feet, and a maximum range of 12,000 miles at 25,000 feet.

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Genre: Documentaries
Year: 1946
Color/BW: Black & White
Movie Type: Public Domain Documentaries
Decade: 1940s
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