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Author Topic: Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?  (Read 7675 times)

Offline zorgon

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Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?
« on: April 03, 2013, 08:26:31 PM »
Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?


Convair B-58A Hustler in flight (SN 59-2442). Photo taken on June 29, 1967

Quote
The Convair B-58 Hustler was the first operational supersonic jet bomber capable of Mach 2 flight. The aircraft was designed by Convair engineer Robert H. Widmer and developed for the United States Air Force for service in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the 1960s. It used a delta wing, which was also employed by Convair fighters such as the F-102, with four General Electric J79 engines in pods under the wing. It carried a nuclear weapon and fuel in a large pod under the fuselage rather than in an internal bomb bay. Replacing the Boeing B-47 Stratojet medium bomber, it was originally intended to fly at high altitudes and supersonic speeds to avoid Soviet fighters. The B-58 received a great deal of notoriety due to its sonic boom, which was often heard by the public as it passed overhead in supersonic flight.

The introduction of highly accurate Soviet surface-to-air missiles forced the B-58 into a low-level penetration role that severely limited its range and strategic value, and it was never employed to deliver conventional bombs. This led to a brief operational career between 1960 and 1969, when the B-58 was succeeded by the smaller, swing-wing FB-111A.



Quote
The general operating requirement, SAB-51, called for the replacement of the B-47 to be the first supersonic bomber. Research and development studies began in the late 1940's, and both Boeing and Convair developed conceptual designs. In 1952, the more revolutionary Convair design was chosen and designated the B-58, with the first flight occurring November 11, 1956.59 The program was not a competitive development, and Convair was given total development responsibility. As a result of money and schedule problems, the number of aircraft produced was reduced from 244 to 116, with its initial deployment in 1960.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/bomber/b-58.htm


Crewmember escape capsule for the B-58 Hustler at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The sign pictured in the image reads:

    When the supersonic B-58 Hustler entered service in 1961, it had individual ejection seats for its three crew members. However, ejection at speeds above 665 mph was extremely hazardous. To improve ejection survivability, the Stanley Aircraft Corp. developed a high-speed high-altitude capsule ejection system that would allow safe ejection at supersonic speed. The capsule was adopted for retrofit beginning in late 1962, making the B-58 the first USAF aircraft with a capsule ejection system. It was effective throughout the flight envelope up to 70,000 feet and twice the speed of sound.

    The capsule has airtight clam shell doors and independent pressurization and oxygen supply systems, with survival gear packed inside. Raising a handgrip activated the restraint system harness securing the occupant inside and closed the capsule doors. The crew member could continue the ejection procedure and be catapulted upward by a rocket out of the aircraft by squeezing an ejection trigger or could remain encapsulated in the event of cabin pressure or oxygen loss until the aircraft reached a lower altitude. The pilot's capsule contained a control stick and other controls necessary to fly the aircraft while encapsulated. After ejection, a parachute lowered the capsule and shock absorbers eased the impact of the capsule on touchdown. The capsule floated if it landed on water and additional flotation cells could be manually inflated to provide stability on water, turning the capsule into a life raft.








Offline Sgt.Rocknroll

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Re: Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 08:29:58 PM »
Wasn't that the bomber they featured in the movie 'Failsafe' ?
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Offline zorgon

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Re: Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 08:33:43 PM »
Rumor has it that there were a bunch of them hidden away at Moody AFB Valdosta, GA USA around 1994/95

 ::)

I was looking for anything on the web about that and found a place we could ask :D

Outstanding web site...need to steal a picture of the 58 for our Daedalian newsletter
Major Pat Lee <patrick.lee@moody.af.mil>
Valdosta, GA USA - Thursday, January 06, 2000 at 18:47:41 (PST)
Posted here
http://b-58-hustler.com/guestbook.html


Or we could ask here... though if they were secreted away they might not give us the straight dope :D



Moody Air Force Base

I have the base director's direct email and phone but likely best I don't post it openly ;)


Offline zorgon

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Re: Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 08:36:02 PM »
Wasn't that the bomber they featured in the movie 'Failsafe' ?

Seems like it was :D I guess Hollywood is sometimes more fact than fiction :P

Quote
Plot

During the early 1960s, Cold War tensions existing between the United States and the Soviet Union are heightened. An accidental thermonuclear first-strike attack by a group of United States Vindicator bombers (Convair B-58 Hustler aircraft) are launched in a mission against Moscow (the capital of what was then the Soviet Union).

Amidst an ordinary tour for VIPs at the U.S. headquarters of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) in Omaha, Nebraska, an alert is initiated when SAC radar indicates an intrusion into American airspace of an unidentified flying object. The standard procedure of SAC is to keep several groups of bombers constantly flying around the clock as a most immediate response to any potential nuclear attack on the country. Upon any initial alert from headquarters, these airborne groups proceed to pre-identified aerial points around the globe called "fail-safe points" to await an actual "go code" before proceeding towards Russian targets. Shortly after reaching those points, the flying object is identified merely as an off-course airliner and the alert is canceled. However, a technical error sends an errant "go code" to a group of bombers, ordering them to proceed and attack their target. Coincidentally and simultaneously, a new Russian jamming device begins radio jamming of communications between SAC headquarters and the bomber group with the result that the group commander, Colonel Jack Grady (Edward Binns), begins to lead the attack on Moscow.

Pressure mounts as the President of the United States (Henry Fonda) and his advisers attempt to recall the group or shoot them down. Communications are begun with the Soviet Chairman, whereupon mistakes on both sides (the American accidental launch of the mission and the coincidental Russian jamming) are acknowledged. The jamming is reversed; however, SAC training and protocols cause the crew to reject counter-orders to abort the mission. Upon confirmation regarding the completion of the accidental attack on Moscow, the President realizes the severity of the situation and seeks a resolution to the matter that will avoid reprisal from the Russians and, ultimately, an all-out nuclear holocaust. With this threat in mind, the President orders an immediate similar nuclear strike on New York City.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fail-Safe_%281964_film%29
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 08:43:38 PM by zorgon »

Offline A51Watcher

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Re: Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 08:40:00 PM »
Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?









Offline zorgon

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Re: Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 08:42:27 PM »
Well since Hollywood showed us the B-58 in 1964 and that was real...

Maybe this one isn't as fake as ATS skeptoids claim :P

BTW ATS is still offline as of now


Offline A51Watcher

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Re: Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 08:49:46 PM »

BTW ATS is still offline as of now



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Offline The Seeker

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Re: Convair B-58 Hustler Nuclear Fighter - Where are they Now?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 05:51:09 PM »
good find z:  8) definitely looks familiar... apparently Moody was the mothball/staging area from what I can find out...but also drawing a blank as to where they were moved to...
still looking into it...


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