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  • Boeing B-47 Stratojet Medium / Heavy Bomber Aircraft

    The Boeing B-47 scored many firsts in the realm of high-altitude jet-powered bomber aircraft - including a tricycle-style undercarriage configuration.

     Updated: 5/26/2017; Authored By Dan Alex; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The swept-wing B-47 Stratojet produced by Boeing was a milestone in American bomber design in several ways. The system pioneered the now-traditional bomber layout found on many of today's bomber aircraft and offered up performance capabilities unheard of before then. As a post-war/Cold War aircraft design, the system was the epitome of what the American military sought in terms of high-level penetration systems capable of nuclear strikes deep within enemy territory.

    The XB-47 was proposed as early as 1945 - the final year of World War 2 - and beat out a notable flying wing design proposed by the Northrop aviation firm. Two XB-47 prototypes were constructed as SN 46-065 and 46-066. Each was initially powered by 6 x Allison J35-GE-7 turbojet engines slung under each swept-back wing with both prototypes eventually receiving General Electric J47-GE-3 turbojets. The engines were split into pairings and single mounts as individual nacelles. The aircraft was crewed by three personnel made up of two pilots and a bombardier. From there, the first XB-47 achieved first flight in 1947.

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    Boeing B-47E-IV Stratojet Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1951
    Type: Medium / Heavy Bomber Aircraft
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): Boeing Company - USA
    Production Total: 2,039

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 3
    Length: 108.01 feet (32.92 meters)
    Width: 116.14 feet (35.40 meters)
    Height: 28.02 feet (8.54 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 79,073 lb (35,867 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 229,999 lb (104,326 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 6 x General Electric J47-GE-25 turbojet engines generating 7,200 lb of thrust each; 1 x 36,000lb rocket system for JATO launch.

    Maximum Speed: 600 mph (965 kph; 521 knots)
    Maximum Range: 3,870 miles (6,228 km)
    Service Ceiling: 40,499 feet (12,344 meters; 7.67 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 4,350 feet-per-minute (1,326 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    STANDARD (B-47B):
    2 x 12.5mm heavy machine guns in rear remote-controlled powered turret.

    STANDARD (B-47E):
    2 x 20mm cannons in rear remote-controlled powered turret.

    Up to 25,000lbs of internal ordnance to include both nuclear and conventional drop bombs.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Canada; United States

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Model 424 - Initial Model Designation

    Model 432 - Secondary Model Designation accepted and allowed for further development contracts.

    Model 448 - Swept Flying Wing surfaces from captured German research.

    Model 450 - Six engines moved from fuselage positions to underwing nacelles.

    XB-47 - Prototype Model Designation fitted with 6 x Allison J35-2 turbojet engines of which two ordered/produced.

    B-47 - Production Series Designation

    B-47A - Developmental Models of which 10 were produced.

    B-47B - First Operational Service Variant of which 399 were produced.

    B-47E - Fitted with uprated engines, inflight refueling capabilities, ejection seats and updated operational systems; 1,591 produced of this type.

    B-47B-II - Same as the B-47B models except for overall re-strengthening of the structure.

    B-47E-II - Same as the B-47E models except for overall re-strengthening of the structure.

    RB-47B - Reconnaissance Variant