Feasibility of the B-36 during WWII

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jenisch, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #1 Jenisch, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    Assuming that by some reason Britain was out of the war in 1940 and the USAAF concluded the B-36 was urgently needed, is there an estimative about how much time it would take to have the aircraft operational? The missions would be feasible? What about their effectiviness and the German defenses against the B-36?
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    It needed Pratt Whitney R-4360 engines, along with jet engines, so it was pretty much a post-war airplane. The USAAF could get a 'B-36 minus', featuring 8 V-3420 engines maybe (providing the engines receive meaningful support early on)?
     
  3. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The jet engines weren't added till the B36D in 1949, almost 3 years after the XB36 first flight.
    The B36 did have some advantages, extreme range, and carry ability, plus the ability to operate and manuver at heights few other aircraft could.
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Thanks for clarification.

    An excerpt from WIkipedia:

    Back in 1941/42, the biggest viable engine might be the V-3420, for the B36-wannabe?
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    B-36 is a huge aircraft. I've stood underneath the one at USAF Museum in Ohio.

    Even with an all out effort I doubt it would be operational before the smaller B-29 and that aircraft wasn't (somewhat) reliable until 1945.
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The reliability issues stemming from the R-3350?
     
  7. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #7 Jenisch, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    I think it's safe to say that the B-36 would be avaliable first than the "Amerika Bomber". Assuming that Germany invaded the USSR like historically, together with the supposed B-36 raids in Germany, the US would be able to fight Japan with more strenght (perhaps Japan would not attack the US in this scenario), provide support to the USSR, defeat the KM and organize the country's defense.
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I think the extreme altitude stuff came with the jet engines.
     
  9. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Others more knowledgeable can correct me, but the 4-burnin' were for higher gross weight take-off and dash speed. Otherwise cruise altitude was accomplished with 6-turnin' and fuel depletion. The B-36 was horrifically slow at cruise.

    While Germany may have ultimately completed a Luft '46 pre-cursor to the MiG-15, certainly the Me-262 could not have reached B-36 operational altitudes without significant changes in engine (and perhaps physiological HMI) upgrades.
     
  10. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    What load could an early B 36 carry from the US, is it going to be Little Boy. Cant see anything else being much use.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Convair B-36 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    You don't need a jet to intercept B-36 bomber. Aircraft such as Ta-152 and Do-335 are plenty fast enough if they have the right supercharger.
     
  12. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    fastmongrel, I agree.
     
  13. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    You may need more than just speed, the service ceiling of the B36B ( no jets) was 39,000+, that's where it still had the ability to climb 100fpm, and MANUVER. It's ultimate altitude was much higher. The B36D ( with jets) had a sevice ceiling of 43,000, but routinely could get to 55,000. Even rumored to have got to 58,000. So with the B36D as a example, I don't think it would be dreaming to say the B36B might have been able to fly at 45,000+. And i'll bet it's wake turbulance was something that couldn't be ignored too.
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I bet Charles might have some interesting things to say on this topic. He is probably the only member of this forum that has flown in the B-36.
     
  15. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Get him on!
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I have to ask why bother? If Britiain fell, the fall back positions become Iceland, greenland, the Azores, the Republic Of Eire and North Africa. Different kind of war, ultimately ending in a nuclear exchange. Hypothetically I see the vast US potential being poured into India, China and the under utilized African nations to provide the manpower to overcome the Nazis. The US would provide the spearhead, and would have to elevate their war production to a full war economy. Britiain would never surrender, continuing the effort from Canada. The Dominion efforts would also move up a notch or two with the canadians fielding probably arounfd 15 Divs and the Australians a similar number. South Africa would have to accept coloured divs, in which case the numbers would jump from 2 divs to about 20. India would expand, eventually from 31 divs to over 100. One could expect British "exile divs, anybody's guess, but based on the french experience, maybe 12-15 divs from expat and escapees.

    The major focus of operations would become North Africa which the Dominions would easily handle defensively at least. Offensive action might be delayed a year or two, but no significant change to the basic outcome of the war would arise. The great alliances were already more or less forged and set in stone by Churchill by the time any demise of the british Isles was likley to occur.
     
  17. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Parfisal,

    Thank you for the contribution. Those details are certainly interesting, but let's try stick to the main feature: the aircraft's earlier development and employment against Germany.

    Crew Chief,

    This person was a crewman of the B-36? It woud be a great honour talk to him!
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    No Charles was not a crewman, he just flew on it. He is a mod here.

    I do know a guy who was a B-36 Crewman. I only see him about once a month though. I should have seen him tonight, but because of the snow storm, I decided not to go.
     
  19. model299

    model299 Member

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    I've stood under the B-36 at the USAF museum as well. It's huge. I've also stood under the B-36 at the SAC museum when it was still located at Offut AFB in Omaha. Better yet, I got to go through it as we had the good fortune to be there during a "crawl through" day.

    You know what really amazed me? As huge as these things were, I found the flight deck to be somewhat cramped.....
     
  20. Conslaw

    Conslaw Member

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    There weren't any bombs in those days that were too big for the B-29. If they US would have really needed intercontinental bombing range, it would have been simpler to add in-flight refueling capability to the B-29. The feasibility of aerial refueling was proven before World War II, but surprisingly, there was no real effort spent in that direction during the war.

    If they really had to, I think they could have had a few B-36 prototypes available sometime in 1945, but that plane was stretching the state of the art as is. FWIW, I agree that the B-36 is one of the stars of any visit to the Air Force museum. The two planes that impressed me the most were the B-36 and the XB-70. The huge original main landing gear tire of the B-36 is impressive.
     
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