The first intercontinental bomber, the Convair B-36 originated from a specification issued on 11 April 1941 which called for an aircraft with ability to carry a maximum bombload of 32659kg and, of even greater importance in view of the state of affairs at that time, to deliver 4536kg of bombs on European targets from bases in the United States. An unrefuelled range of 16093km was a prime requirement, with a maximum speed of 386-483km/h and ceiling of 10670m. Selected from four competing designs, the Consolidated Model 36 featured a pressurised fuselage, and 70.10m span wings with a root thickness of 1.83m to permit in-flight access to the six pusher engines. The aircraft was designed originally with twin fins and rudders, but by the time the XB-36 prototype was ready to be rolled out at Fort Worth, on 8 September 1945, single vertical tail surfaces had been substituted.
First flown on 8 August 1946, the XB-36 had single 2.79m diameter main wheels, also a feature of the YB-36 second prototype on which they were replaced later by the four-wheeled bogies adopted for production aircraft. In this form the aircraft was designated YB-36A and also differed from the first aircraft by introducing a raised cockpit roof. On 23 July 1943 100 aircraft were ordered but it was more than four years before the first of the 22 unarmed crew-trainer B-36A models took off on its maiden flight, on 28 August 1947. Production of the B-36 continued for almost seven years, the last example being delivered to Strategic Air Command on 14 August 1954, and the type was retired finally on 12 February 1959.
| ENGINE||6 x P+W R-4360, 2575kW|
| Take-off weight||162162 kg||357508 lb|
| Empty weight||72051 kg||158846 lb|
| Wingspan||70.1 m||230 ft 0 in|
| Length||49.4 m||162 ft 1 in|
| Height||14.3 m||47 ft 11 in|
| Wing area||443.3 m2||4771.64 sq ft|
| Max. speed||696 km/h||432 mph|
| Cruise speed||362 km/h||225 mph|
| Ceiling||13700 m||44950 ft|
| Range w/max.fuel||16000 km||9942 miles|
| ARMAMENT||12-16 20mm machine-guns, 32600kg of bombs|
|John C Gaydos, lkwdhi=yahoo.com, 01.04.2013|
enlisted 3/1951 4years. stationed at carswell, trained as an electrical specialist and did a lot of experimental modifications on the big bird. spent time at eglin in fla. some very interesting duty like taking high altitude pics of the captured mig 15 that plane was a true hot rot and we had nothing that could keep up with it at the time. did get to see a fire power demo with a 36 drop of 160 500 pounders at one a second, thank goodness the ruskies were watching as well. the crews competed by bombing most large us cities with radar to get there hits by reflection. we had no real targets , thank goodness..
|Paul Gill, Pgill90=aol.com, 09.11.2012|
I was assigned to the 95th at Biggs directly from basic in Nov '54. As the Flying Safety office clerk, later the Wing Directorate of Safety, I spent 4 years typing engine fire reports on those awful P&W engine. The configuration of the engines, icing problems kept me on that Royal manual typewriter distributing Flying Safety Messages to the Squadron Safety Officers. Knew the pilot of the "fuel starved" acft that crashed near El Paso International and many of the crew of the "short of runway" at Lake Worth at Carswell. Respected all flying and maintenance that supported SAC mission. I worked the Wg Control Room on Guam in '55 as the 95th relieved the 28th. Most rewarding 4 years of my 30 year career. P Gill, CMsgt 54/84 (ret)
|Jim Hoak, planejim=bellsouth.net, 31.10.2012|
I was assigned to the 72 FMS, Ramey AFB. Puerto Rico in 1957. Worked on the R-4360's till we retired the last bird in 1959. I always loved the sound of those engines on take-off. The 72nd received the U.S. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for Operation Curtain Riser with this aircraft. I was proud to be a part of that along with all my fellow A.F. comrades.
|Richard Haas, rv,haas=comcast.net, 16.08.2012|
I wish the miltary channel would do a documentary, about this wonderful plane and the crews. It is probably one of the most important AC in our history and the people who flew in it. My brother was a FLT Engineer and intructor on one, and oh the stories he he told. One story was when one of the outboard engines had a runaway prop on take off and two thirds down the runway, going thru all the adjustments, power etc with anew student. in the end all came out fine. But the excitement was really something else.
|R J Crawley, rayjay1934=yahoo.com, 09.07.2012|
During my enlistment, I was trained as an an aircraft electrician , at Chanute, and then sent to Lowery for training as aircrew gunner AFSC 42351E. I was assigned to 5th Recon Bomb Wing, 31st Recon Bomb Sqdn, crew L21F, Travis, AFB during period Mar '55 to Dec '57. All our birds were "H" model "RB's". Have lots of memories of long flights, 24-48 hrs, most were pleasantly boring, but there were a few scary times. Lots of oil leaks, with shut down engines. and an occasional engine fire. Like every other person,who flew the plane, the sound, I can still remember, after a few hours of flight, it seemed to sink into your body, and you became a part of the plane. When you got back to the barracks, you would still vibrate the next day. As I look back on that period of my life, I am especially proud of being a part of the Air Force during the cold war.
|Jim Curgow, jcurboy=suddenlink.net, 23.06.2012|
I went thru basic elec., B-36 TG Radar & Control, Flt crew training all at Lowry AFB, Denver, then was assigned to Ramey AFB in PR, then assigned as Tail Gunner on RB-36 crew in 73rd Recon. Sqdrn. After 26 months Crew S-43 rotated to Carswell AFB, Ft. Worth. Even tho I did not have my 36 mos. in, I was fortunate enough to stay on crew and transfer with them to Ft. Worth. I owe so much to my AF training. I served my four years, then got my degree in Elec. Engineering from TEXAS A&M. I thank the AF for my electronics trng, which made the EE degree possible.
Also, I really enjoyed flying with a top notch B-36 crew
Thanks to AF and the electronic schools for really laying the groundwork for my very sucessful career in electronics.
|Dick Ingerle, ringerle=live.com, 14.06.2012|
I was a B-36 tail radar gunner at Fairchild AFB 1952-54. 327 Bomb Sqdn. on Col. Frank Sanders crew. We had quite a few hairy flights also. Explosive decompression at 40,000, a hard landing in 0 visablity and many lost engines but it was great on a crew that was like family.
|James F. Litchfield, blackforestgfx=yahoo.com, 19.04.2012|
In addition to my previous posting about my father, James E. Litchfield... his units were 60th bombardment squadron H (SAC)out of Ramey AFB in Puerto Rico. and the 305th Original Maintenance Sq (SAC) out of Bunker Hill AFB. Again, thank you.
|James F. Litchfield, blackforestgfx=yahoo.com, 19.04.2012|
My name is James F. Litchfield. I am the son of James Edwin Litchfield (AKA Smokey or Litch). He was a crew chief on board a B36. I do not know which one. He was stationed at Ramey AFB in Puerto Rico in the late 1950s, early 1960s. He was also a crew chief on a C-47. He was sent to Vietnam in 1963, I think. He lived off base at Ramey AFB and owned a small rum bar on the beach. If anyone has information regarding James Edwin Litchfield, please feel free to email me at my address. We are trying to get information together for him in regards to the VA. Thank you in advance. James Litchfield
|Terrence O'Neill, troneill=charter.net, 18.04.2012|
The Strategic Air Command's top mission that justified their huge budget was to A-bomb the USSR secret atomic bomb war plants in the Ural Mountains, by flying UNESCORTED forf 1000 miles over the Arctic, then 3000 miles through 19,000 USSR interceptors guided by nine radar rings painting the huge B-36. Lost of luck. The B-35 Wing, Sealthy in 1948, faster, flew higher, and was invisible!
|Mike Dowaliby, 50pgapro=Cyberport.net, 14.02.2012|
I Inlisted in the USAF 12/26/52 and eventually was sent to SAC Base, Fairchild AFB, Spokane, WA. 1953-Dec.1956. Was with the RB36, 99th Recon wing as a ECM tech. made it to S/sgt. Went to TDY Fairford England in May, 1954, to Anderson, on Guam and then Yakoda, Japan, 1955. I had great times being around the B-36, Had excitement on every flight. Never had all six running, and two, many of the times. Saw two crashes at Fairchild and some heroic landings. One of our planes lost a rudder while on a flyover the AF Academy during the opening of Colorado Springs. The AC landed in Rapid City by using his ailerons to control. Made a smooth landing and recieved the Distinguish Flying Medal. Never a dull moment. 2/13/12
|DONALD KOGER, donkoger=sbcglobal.net, 13.02.2012|
|Bill Kepner, kepner13=olympus.net, 12.02.2012|
Did the B36 have an onboard APU? (auxiliary power unit) If so, where was it, what kind of engine, and did it supply hydraulic and generator power? thanks (R4360 mech on C124)
|Bert Fletcher, bjf=olypen.com, 03.01.2012|
In case no one ever noticed, the Russian TU-95 and TU-142 sound EXACTLY like a B-36 when they take off and fly overhead.
|Alec Stone, alecstone19=hotmail.com., 02.01.2012|
RE-The Plane crash at Nut Cove nl. Canada march 1953.Our house was seperated from the crash by just a small body of water.There is one man who knows as much about that crash as anyone,as he and his cousin was the first two people along with two U.S. Military personal at the crash site,he was also involved with the task of locating bodies and the cleanup of the site.With so many stories written and told it is unfortunate that nobody took the time to interview this man.he was also the last man to leave the site before it was open to the public.That man is my father Martin Stone.He is still alive today at 95 and can recall the event as it happened yesterday.
|Arthur Solomon, rsol1=cox.net, 19.12.2011|
I was stationed at Fairchild 1953-1955. I worked on the A-10 power units for the B36. The B36 is now on display at the Pima Air Museum in
|Jim f, Oldfartbiker=yahoo.com, 18.12.2011|
I was going through tec school at Lowery AFB, Denver as a ammunitions spcl. And heard a story of a B36 that made a emergency landing at Lowery. Because of the high altitude, the B36 couldn't take off. Matos racks were attached and as the plane made a T/O attempt, the rack broke and swiveled and the Jatos burned the tail off the plane and it crashed.
Can anyone verify this story ?
|Frank Anderson, sdcaller=comcast.net, 29.11.2011|
A relative was on this flight at Egland AFB. He said there was a film made of the flight. Is there a copy out there anywhere he can acquire?
|roger stigney, rstigney=hotmail.com, 12.11.2011|
I would like to contact JERRY HARDESTY who made a post on 24.09.2011 regarding Biggs AFB. Please contact me via this forum or email me at email@example.com or call me at 763 786-3156. Thanks, Roger
|roger stigney, rstigney=hotmail.com, 07.11.2011|
A recent posting commented on the RB-36s that he remembered while being stationed at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico during the 1950s, some 50 plus years ago. I also would like to add a few comments as well. At that time Ramey AFB was home to the 72nd Strategic Reconnaissance/Bombardment Wing. It consisted of three recon/bomb squadrons, the 60th, 73rd, and 301st. The YB-36A mentioned was the first B-36 to have the eight wheel undercarriage and the bubble canopy above the cockpit. This was aircraft number 571 and was assigned to the 60th bomb squadron. The complete number was 42-13571. It was later upgraded to a RB-36E and subsequently featherweighted. It is my understanding that this aircraft was on display at the Wright Paterson Air Museum until 1971 when it scrapped and replaced by a B-36J model at their new air museum. I was a crew member on aircraft number 571 and would like to hear from any others that were associated with it. This forum brought back a lot of memories on this now historic aircraft.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?