Air International 1985-11
Model enthusiast
Convair B-36A-15-CF serial 44-92025 was the last of 22 "A" models built and was later converted to RB-36E standard. Bearing the black triangle marking and emblem of the US Eighth AF, the B-36As were unarmed and served as crew trainers at Carswell AFB in the hands of the 7th Bomb Group (Heavy).
Convair B-36B-1-CF 44-92033 was the eighth of 73 "B" models (most of which were later converted to B-36D or RB-36D standard). Shown here with red tail and outer wing markings for Arctic operations, the B-36B was also flown by the 7th BG(H), joined at Carswell AFB in 1949 by the 11th BG(H).
B-36H-5-CF serial 50-1092 was the tenth of the 83 "H" models delivered by Convair in 1952-53, with internal improvements that included a completely revised flight deck to provide for a second flight engineer. The "U in triangle" tail marking identifies the 11th Bomb Wing (Heavy) at Carswell, which flew the big Convair bomber until the end of 1957.
Serial 44-92023 was built as the last-but-three B-36A, becoming an RB-36E after conversion to have a 14-camera installation in the forward bomb-bay and underwing jet pods. The "X in circle" tail marking indicated the US Fifteenth Air Force and the nose emblem is that of the 72nd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron. 5th SR Wing, at Travis AFB, California. 1951-58.
Serial 52-2820 was a B-36J-75-CF, close to the end of the production run, which concluded with 52-2827. White undersides and the Strategic Air Command nose bands and emblems had become standard by the late 'fifties. Known as a B-36J(III) Featherweight, this example has all guns (except the two-gun tail turret) removed and a reduced crew, to achieve higher operating altitudes and speeds.
B-36H-20-CF serial 51-5712 was modified to become the NB-36H flying test-bed for a small nuclear reactor which was under development as an aircraft power plant. The Aircraft Nuclear Program was cancelled before the power plant became operational but the NB-36H made 47 flights between September 1955 and March 1957 to investigate nuclear shielding.