The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused the world, since that fateful night of February 24, 2022, to seriously consider the possibility that this crisis could generate a more serious conflict, a Third World War, which seems so harsh. The conflict, rooted but concentrated on Ukrainian soil, has not followed this path, although all border states, kyiv’s allies and those suffering from the hybrid war launched by Moscow are paying attention.
However, the growing threat is sparking greater interest in what would happen if we were talking about a new planetary conflict. This also concerns weapons, and that is why a curiosity has once again made headlines: the bomber that the United States had prepared to attack Russia in a so-called Third World War.
The Convair B-36 Peacemaker, which is the name of the invention, dates back to the Cold War and remains the largest American combat aircraft ever created. In particular, it was the largest mass-produced piston engine-powered aircraft in history.
Design began in 1941, the first prototype flew in 1943, and the first production aircraft was delivered in 1947. It served into the 1950s and, although it has been out of service for more than seven decades, it is subsequently became the main pillar of deterrence. …nuclear attack by the United States against the Soviet Union. Its formidable range of 16,000 kilometers made it unique: no other aircraft of the time was capable of launching the nuclear weapons in the American arsenal without refueling in flight. A real asset in these uncertain times. The last B-36 was retired from service in 1959.
His story, saved by media like Military Galaxy, is that of the fear of loss, which has never been closer than during the Second World War. The B-36 concept began with Consolidated Aircraft’s successful proposal to fulfill a USAAC requirement issued on April 11, 1941, to build a heavy, long-range intercontinental bomber capable of bombing Germany directly from bases airlines in Germany. air base near an allied country or even return to the American continent itself.
This requirement was motivated in anticipation of the possibility of losing Britain as a forward base if it were invaded by Nazi Germany. American bombers would have to reach Europe directly from America to bomb the cities of Germany and later, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union, although this never happened. The B-36 was considered necessary to bring the war to Japan, its development continued during World War II, and it entered mass production during the Korean War and the Cold War. The idea was clear: build a bomber with long-range (transatlantic) capabilities, capable of carrying a lot of weight, for bombs and artillery.
The aircraft was equipped with six large 28-cylinder radial engines from the manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major, equipped with a three-blade propeller of 5 meters radius, air-cooled and delivering a power of 3,860 horsepower (HP), each, which allowed it to reach speeds of up to 707 kilometers per hour (Vno) and a service ceiling of 47,000 feet. A little gem of performance for the time. Among its characteristics, we also distinguish the large fuselage 50 meters long with a wingspan of 70 meters. The wing width alone was 2.3 meters, with a large wing area, which provided great lift to this aircraft, which had a maximum takeoff weight of 186,000 kilograms.
The objectives for which it was created have certainly not been achieved, the Peacemaker It never bombed Germany and was not used for a possible bombing of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, it was an aircraft built in a short time and which served as a test bed for the later arms industry.