B-47 questions.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by The Basket, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    I have taken a fancy to the big Boeing jet and got some questions for ya.

    The tandem seat and bubble canopy turned it into a big fighter! But could the pilots leave their seats and go into the fuselage...and was it dual control with the backseater?

    Also the RB-47 saw real action and was even shotdown by a Soviet MiG-19. I was also wondering how its performance compared to subsonic fighters like the MiG-15 MiG-17 and F-86 Sabre. Could it outrun them or even outturn them at extreme altitudes...
     
  2. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Good question Basket, never thought about it before. A crew of three. Pilot (26) and co-pilot (30) with the navigator/bombardier (8) in the nose. To me it looks like if they're bored they can visit each other and say "G'day" by utilising the internal walkway (16) and if they're really bored visit the cockpit air-conditioning plant (39) via the maintenance access hatch (36). Co-pilot (30) is also responsible for the tail gun and therefore must have access to the tail gunsight and firing controls (31) but I'm not certain if there is a seat there or if his just simply spins around?

    That looks about as far as the crew can travel as the nose compartment bulkhead is just aft of (31)...(I'll try and find some photos).

    [​IMG]
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The B-47 had a crawlspace between the pilot and co-pilot as shown and it had dual controls. As far as the rear guns, they were remote controlled and radar aimed so all the co-pilot had to do was look at a screen from what I under stand.
     
  4. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    During the Soviet spy missions...those guns were fired at MiGs!

    I remember the seat swivelled and became rear facing...and he aimed manually...I think!

    I believe it outperformed the MiG 15 and could just about run away from a MiG 17.

    Stuffed against a MiG 19 though.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  6. Bill G.

    Bill G. Banned

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    Also, get the movie Strategic Air Command. It has some inside shots of the B-47 towards the end of the movie.

    Bill G.
     
  7. Marshall_Stack

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    Along with some good B-36 footage...
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Here's the B47 interior "trainer" they have at the March AFB museum.
     

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  9. ONE_HELLCAT

    ONE_HELLCAT Member

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    I think I remember watching an old black and white movie with the B-47 and the crew being able to move about. I mean, it's just a movie so facts a little fudged.
     
  10. Von Frag

    Von Frag Member

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    I had a girlfriend in college who's father flew RB-47 missions over the USSR. He told me that the MiG's could get to their altitude by zoom climbing and that when they shot past them going up he could see all the control surfaces working furiously because the pilots couldn't control them. I assume these were 17's.

    This guy was real interesting. He went north at the beginning of wwII, joined the RCAF. He flew Huricanes on rhubarbs, transfered to bomber command where he flew Halifaxes, then joined the USAAF where he flew P-47's. He told me between 30 and 40 thousand feet, the Germans didn't have anything that could touch a P-47 other than the 262.
     
  11. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The mock up at the museum indicates that it is possible for the crewman to move about. But it sure wouldn't be to stretch their legs (except for the navigator who could climb the small ladder).
     
  12. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Great museum. They used to allow you to go into some aircraft including a B-17, B-52, B-29, SR-71 and more, a couple of times a year. Alas, no more, AF shut that down, probably worrying about lawsuits.

    I took my kids and grand kid to go through the C-141 they had there. Loved it.
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Also probably to prevent vandalism and unintended damage to the interiors. Some of these aircraft are priceless.
     
  14. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    The crew could have been in the air for hours. So crew comfort had to be a factor.

    Been stuck in a chair for 12 hours is not my idea of fun. Especially when u need the toilet.
     
  15. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    From what I've read Basket, possibly, or at least give them a run for their money. It could be looped and rolled and out manoeuvre "some" fighters above 20,000ft. It was capable of LABS bombing and dash speeds of up to 600mph. It could roll at 30 degrees per second at 300mph which was "unheard of for a plane its size and weight".

    Lightly loaded and with RATO it "could climb faster than a F-101 Voodoo."

    (By the way that navigator's seat fired downwards, 1500ft being regarded as "safe").

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    If you look at the pictures, its apparent that an average sized pilot wearing a high altitude suit, would have to move around hunched to the side. Probably better than nothing, but in no way similar to that of a B52 where you could go walk around.
     
  17. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Looks more comfy than a TU-22 or was there a similar config?

    .
     
  18. Sweb

    Sweb Member

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    That was the last plane my Pop flew in the USAF between 1959 and 1963. We lived on Pease AFB, New Hampshire, and heard them around the clock along with KC-97 tankers. He transfered from TAC to SAC to make rank because the then USAF Chief Of Staff - Curtis LeMay - was a proponent of bombardment so SAC got most of the available promotions. He joined SAC to make a better retirement rank and it worked. He flew the B-47E on various missions telling me he'd wiped out New York City countless times, along with other cities in the New Hampshire surrounds, and then flew what they called Reflex Missions to England. He hated those because he sat in that seat for the entire flight to and from. They'd depart in a vee flight of 3 aircraft, go to Brize Norton and stay on alert status for 2 weeks. Then they'd fly back. Some of the missions were to fly the Russian border in airborne alert from Brize Norton. But, no, there was minimal room to stretch and when flying tight vee formations they couldn't drop their guards.

    I watched them take off countless times using JATO. Pretty spectacular. I was a 7 y/o kid. Being an Air Force brat come Christmas at the Family Recreation Hall they'd show a movie of Santa taxying up to park in a B-47. He'd drop down the ladder and walk across the ramp carrying his bag, smiling and waving and then the next thing you know he'd come walking into the room we were watching the movie in right on cue.

    We had 3 crash on base while we lived there. One took out part of the base golf course. They shook the whole base and lit up the night sky. A few of my friends lost their Pop's and it was a sad time. SAC insisted on putting bomber pilots in the B-47 and they couldn't keep their heads out in front of the plane because it was so much faster than the B-50s they were used to flying. They should have used fighter pilots who were used to speed and making timely judgement calls. Same thing happened with the B-58s. They put B-47 and B-52 pilots in them and many crashed for the same reason. These were my Pop's words.

    When I was an E-4 in the Air Force I rode brakes (cockpit tow team member) on the B-47 at Grissom AFB when it was towed to the memorial (graveyard) just outside the main gate. I also rode brakes on the KC-97 that was there and last used by the Illinois Air Guard. There was no room in the B-47 but danged if you couldn't play ping-pong in the cockpit of that KC-97. It was huge.

    Sorry for the rambling. Brought back some memories.
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Sweb, you have any pics you can share with us?
     
  20. Sweb

    Sweb Member

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    No stills. I do have some old 8mm film my Pop took of landings while we were stationed there. I am going to see if I can have it converted and put on a DVD. The film is fragile so it'll be a mission to have it done. If successful I'll upload it to YouTube and link it here. Right now I'm sorting through his slides he took while with the 45th Tac Recon Sqn (RF-51s) at Kimpo (K-14) Korea in 1951-52 for scanning and uploading.
     
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