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American Combat Planes of the 20th Century is an incredible reference for anyone who is interested in any American Combat Plane History.   There are 758 pages and 1700 b/w photos in this substantial labor of love by Ray Wagner, who has been passionately researching and writing about aircraft for over 50 years.   Whether you are already familiar with his past works, or just discovering this accomplished author for the first time... This is the book that you've been waiting for!

If you'd like to see the book's   Table of Contents ... Click here.   You can also browse the entire   Index Section   to get an idea of the extensive amount of information that is covered within this book.

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A- 1 Eaton     A- 4 Skyhawk     A- 6 & A- 7     Air Weapons     AV- 8 to A- 10     A- 20 Havoc     A- 22 Martin Maryland     A- 23 Martin Baltimore     A- 24 Douglas     A- 26 Douglas Invader     Attack Planes     B- 2A, F-111, F-117 Stealth    B- 17 Flying Fortress     B- 24 Liberator     B- 25 North American     B- 26 Marauder     B- 29 Superfortress     B- 32 Dominator     B- 35 Flying Wing     B- 36     B- 47 Stratojet     B- 50 Boeing     B- 52 Stratofortress     B- 57 Canberra     B- 58 Hustler     Biplanes     Biplanes, Army Pursuits     Bombers, B- 70 to Stealth     Bombers, First Big     Curtiss Falcon     CO- 1     DH- 4 De Havilland     F3D- Douglas Skyknight    F3H- McDonnell Demon    F4D- 1 Skyray    F4F Grumman Wildcats    F- 4U Corsair    F6F Grumman    F7F Grumman    F7U Vought    F9F G. Cougar    F9F G. Panther    F- 16 Fighting Falcon    F- 84     F- 86 Sabre    F- 89 to F-94    F- 100 to F-108    First Fighters    Flying Boats    GAX    Iraq to Afghanistan    Martin Bombers    Missile Era Fighters    Navy Fighers    Navy Flying Boats    O- 2 Douglas     P- 35 Seversky     P- 36 to 42 Curtiss     P- 38 Lightning    P- 39 Airacobra    P- 40 Line    P- 47 Thunderbolt    P- 51 Mustang Fighter    P- 61 Black Widow    P- 63 Kingcobra    P- 79 to P-81    P- 82 Twin Mustang    SB2C Helldiver    TBF-TBM Avenger    Thomas-Morse    Torpedo Planes    V- 11 Vultee    XB -28    XP -48 / 77   

B-58 Hustler

Page 2

The B-58A began replacing the B-47s of SAC’s 43rd Bomb Wing at Carswell AFB in March 1960, and the 305th Bomb Wing in May 1961 -the only two wings to get the type. Considering the B-58’s high performance and sophisticated equipment, it was surprising that its service life was curtailed. By January 16, 1970, the last Hustlers were retired from SAC. One reason was the B-58A’s high accident rate, resulting in the loss of nine of the first 30 aircraft, another the growing threat of surface and air launched missiles. And unlike the B-52, it could not be configured for a mass of conventional bombs or missiles.

Delivery of nuclear weapons was limited by the B-58’s short range, and a less expensive and more deadly launcher was the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), whose entrance into SAC paralleled B-58 service. The first SAC Atlas ICBM squadron was declared operational September 2, 1960, and by 1969 enough more advanced ICBMs were on hand for an operational force stabilized at 1,000 Minuteman and 54 Titan missiles, while the Navy had 656 submarine-launched missiles. CONVAIR B-58A with weapons

Other Bomber Designations
In 1951 bomber designations had been assigned to five guided missiles then at various stages of development: the Martin B-61 Matador tactical cruise missile; the Northrop B-62 Snark strategic cruise missile; the Bell B-63 Rascal air-launched missile; the North American B-64 Navaho strategic supersonic cruise mis­sile; and the Convair B-65 Atlas, the first American ICBM. All of these projects were ­redesignated according to a stan­dardized missile no­men­clature system and consequently fall outside the scope of this book.

The B-66 tactical bomber has already been described in an earlier section of this chapter. The Radioplane Cross­bow (GAM-67) decoy missile used the B-67 designation briefly, and the XB-68 was Martin’s last jet-bomber design. RB-69A was the designation allotted to seven Lock­heed P2V-7U Neptunes ordered from the Navy in May 1954 for special electronics intelligence missions.

Martin’s Model 316 was ordered in September 1956 as the XB-68 two-place tactical bomber powered by two Pratt & Whitney 27,500-pound thrust J75s mounted on each side on the long fuselage. Like the company’s earlier XB-51, it had a high T-tail and rotary bomb door, but the 53-foot span wings were straight and short like those on an F-104. Armament included a radar-aimed 20-mm T-171, like the one on the B-58, and a 3,500-pound TX-11 nuclear bomb that was to be carried over a 688-mile combat radius. Esti­mated top speed was 1,589 mph at 54,700 feet, a velocity requiring evaporation cooling and a steel primary structure.

Although two prototypes and a static-test article had been planned, the XB-68 was canceled early in 1957 to save money, leaving the XB-70 as the only manned strategic-bomber prototype under way. Subsequent numbers were assigned to the SR-71 reconnaissance design and to several missile projects, but the XB-70 would be the last bomber in the series that began with a Keystone biplane in 1927.


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