Boeing B-50 Superfortress Heavy Bomber (1948)
The Boeing B-50 series was a direct development of the B-29 Superfortress, though 75 percent a new aircraft.
Though looking every bit the identical twin of the World War Two-era B-29 Superfortress (also produced by Boeing), the B-50 incorporated enough new elements to deem it an all new aircraft - retaining just 25 percent of the B-29's original components. Changes distinguishing the B-50 from its predecessor included an all new aluminum wing design that made the aircraft more resilient and efficient. Vertical tail surfaces were now designed to fold down, allowing the massive bomber the capability to be housed in air force hangars. Essentially, the B-50 was a further development of the B-29 that debuted towards the latter part of the war, though it became an aircraft worthy of the US Air Force's Strategic Air Command position as a bomber with true nuclear capabilities and reach.
The B-50 was a four engine heavy bomber powered by the Pratt & Whitney 3,500 horsepower R-4360-35 Wasp Major radial engine. Accommodations for crewmen included a total of ten personnel with access to 12 x .50 caliber machine guns in remotely-controlled barbettes throughout the aircraft design. Additionally, a 20mm cannon was part of the arsenal, as was up to 20,000lbs of internal ordnance in the form of drop bombs.
In the end, with far greater payload and range, the B-50 bomber provided the USAF Strategic Air Command with a powerful conventional bomber that could double as a nuclear deterrent in the face of the expanding Cold War. B-50's would eventually be replaced by the jet-powered B-47 Stratojet by 1954, to which many would go on to be modified as TB-50H crew and pilot trainers, the KB-50 aerial refueling aircraft and the RB-50 photographic reconnaissance platform. All B-50's would be retired from service by 1965.
Specifications for the
Boeing B-50 Superfortress
Focus Model: Boeing B-50D Superfortress
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Boeing Company - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1948
Length: 100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Width: 141.40 ft (43.10 m)
Height: 34.58ft (10.54 m)
Weight (Empty): 80,601 lb (36,560 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 173,001 lb (78,472 kg)
Powerplant: 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-4360-35 Wasp Major 28-cylinder radial engines generating 3,500hp each.
Maximum Speed: 380 mph (611 kmh; 330 kts)
Maximum Range: 4,896 miles (7,880 km)
Service Ceiling: 36,713 ft (11,190 m; 7.0 miles)
STANDARD: 12 x 12.7mm machine guns
1 x 20mm cannon
Up to 20,000lbs of internal ordnance
Variants: [ SHOW / HIDE ]
the United States of America
MORE AIRCRAFT: [ SHOW / HIDE ]