Best American Bomber of the last 50 years

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Pat Hurley, Mar 23, 2007.

?

What American bomber aircraft of the last 50 years is/was the most broadly capable?

  1. B-52 Stratofortress

    21 vote(s)
    77.8%
  2. B-58 Hustler

    1 vote(s)
    3.7%
  3. B-1B Lancer

    5 vote(s)
    18.5%
  4. B-2 Spirit

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    It was, indeed, PS. It's perfromance envelope was more like that of a fighter than a bomber, and, at the time, many felt that Curt LeMay made a big mistake in assigning "Older and Wiser" bomber pilots to fly it rather than "Fighter Jocks".

    That, coupled with a lot of other problems.....it was a very complex aircraft (for it's time), was very high maintenence.....and, if you lost an engine, was impossible to keep airborne (and was very dangerous to eject from).

    Pretty, yes, but waaaaaaaay too many problems to be the "Best Bomber"....
  2. With that I certainly agree, X. In many ways, the B-58 was too advanced in its design capabilities for the state of technology at the time. I knew a guy once, many years ago, a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, who, for a time, flew missions on the KC-135 tankers used for in-mission refueling the B-58s. He said the things were so damn fast that they were there and gone almost before they were seen by the crews of the tankers. In the initial planning stages of its design, as I recall, they were thinking of using it as a parasite aircraft, i.e., to be transported part way to the target by cargo aircraft, then released to strike its target when in range. That design never got off the drawing board though. I can only imagine what the ride must have been like at Mach 2, at low altitude, with no terraine-following radar!
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