B741 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 716 posts, RR: 1 Posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7423 times:
I heard that the B-58 was retired early in its life because of its high attrition rate and the pilots admitted their fear in flying the complex machine. This word got out to the "big boys" at the Pentagon, thus deciding on its retirement. Does this sound factual or were there other reasons?
HaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2081 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7244 times:
The B-58 was purpose built to take a nuclear bomb into the USSR. It wasn't a very good conventional bomb carrier. Hence, in Nam it was pretty much useless, unlike the B-52 which could carpet bomb. The B-58 was built to deliver a nuclear strike in a cold war enviroment. Fortunately, all our wars in the last 40 years have been conventional, and the B-58 doesn't fit that role at all. Beautiful airplane, but thankfully unneeded.
IMisspiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6244 posts, RR: 36 Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7155 times:
The B-58 had no useful range without the external tank and with the tank, it could not deliver its weapon. The fact is that the chance of it ever being able to penetrate Soviet defenses were zero doomed it.
Is grammar no longer taught is schools? Saying "me and her" or some such implies illiteracy.
Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3 Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 8 hours ago) and read 7117 times:
The reasons given to me by an ex-B-58 pilot were twofold.
First, the B-58 had high maintenance costs; also known as a "Hangar Queen".
Second, the Air Force wanted FB-111's, which were more optimized for low level penetration. The budget people told the Air Force that they could have either B-58's or FB-111's, but not both.
Result, the B-58 was retired and the FB-111's were introduced.
AvObserver From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 2445 posts, RR: 9 Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6742 times:
Good calls, Broke but I'll add from my readings that then Defense Secretary Robert McNamara who strongarmed his "TFX" F-111 through development was also the biggest champion of the FB-111 bomber variant. The Air Force really wanted the AMSA (Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft), which became the B1-A but development and budgetary delays led to ordering the FB-111A as an interim medium bomber to augment the B-52 while the B1 was developed. The order was severely cutailed from about 250 airplanes to around 78 because the FB-111A was severely limited in ordinance by it's small size. A later proposed stretched FB-111H was also axed because it was still too small compared to the B-1A, though a lot cheaper to develop. You're dead on about the B-58, amazing as it was for its' time. The hot, nearly 200 mph landing speeds also helped make it a dangerous aircraft with a high attrition rate, as B741 said, though the FB-111A, like its' fighter breathren, was hardly much better.
Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3 Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6692 times:
I was in the Air Defense Command, on a radar site, from October 1961 to September 1964. Yes, I'm a flatulent senior citizen.
During that time, there never was a successful intercept of a B-58 by the ADC. In fact, the closest anyone ever got to a B-58 was a Texas ANG F-86 near Eagle Pass, Texas.
Ironic, our site handled 3 regular Air Force F-101B squadrons and one F-106A squadron, plus ANG units occasionally, and just about the slowest plane in the inventory, at that time, was the one to get the closest, but nowhere near close enough.
AvObserver From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 2445 posts, RR: 9 Reply 8, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6696 times:
Whoa! Then my hats off to you, Broke, you REALLY know what you're talking about! I doubt now the Soviets had anything, except perhaps the MIG-25 Foxbat (exactly when did that become operational, it was designed to chase the SR-71A) that could catch the B-58 during its' short service life. Your statement helps affirm that and you probably know better than anyone else, here. A lot of folks think, despite it's faults, that the B-58 was superior overall to the FB-111A, even considering that airplane's all-weather capability and terrain following radar. It certainly seemed to be ahead of its' time, especially coming on the heels of Convair's majestic but painfully slow B-36 Peacemaker.
P.S. - You're using the term 'flatulent' figuratively, I trust, right? And don't feel too bad; I'm not exactly a spring chicken, myself. Thanks for the insight!
Lehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 22 Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6621 times:
"it was designed to chase the SR-71A"
I thought the Foxbat was made for the XB-70, had it went into production. Is it known if the Soviets knew about the Oxcart program as a whole considering the CIA had to makeup a phantom materials company to buy the titianium from the largest supplier: mother Russia? I'm sure they were ready for it when they knew.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
AvObserver From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 2445 posts, RR: 9 Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6599 times:
Lehpron and Jwentling; you guys are right and I stand corrected; I should've remembered that. Unlike the B-70 which was publicly unveiled early on, the A-12/SR-71 program was a true 'black' program shrouded in secrecy for years. It's unlikely the Soviets even knew about it until after it was operational.
Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3 Reply 13, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6568 times:
A rule of thumb in the interceptor business is that the fighter has to have a 50% speed advantage over the target bomber. The YF-12A was to counter a Mach 2 bomber that the Soviets were developing. The program was cancelled and so was the YF-12A program.
I would imagine that the MiG-25 was built to counter the B-58, but from what I have read about the airplane, its top Mach is 2.7. I don't think the MiG-25 would have a prayer to catching a SR-71.
One interesting feature of the MiG-25 was precompression cooling (PCC). It was tested in the US on F-4's and there is speculation that the Israelis installed it on some RF-4C's to give them a Mach 2.5+ dash capability.
The basic idea of the system is to inject water into the airflow behind the inlet and in front of the engine. This would lower the inlet temperature at the compressor face allowing for higher fuel flows into the combustor without overtemping the turbine.
Rg828 From Brazil, joined Jan 2004, 582 posts, RR: 2 Reply 17, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6135 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW PHOTO SCREENER
Could the B-58 go supersonic with that huge fuel tank under the belly? I read something regarding Convair's contender for a supersonic reconnaissance craft, which would be belly-mounted under the Hustler. The problem was that the B-58 could never go supersonic with that thing hanging underneath.
I once met a guy whose brother got killed flying a B-58. He was assigned to take one to the Paris Air show, and crashed on landing.
I dont know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone
Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3 Reply 18, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6096 times:
The B-58 would go to Mach 2 with the belly tank, or tanks. The B-58 at the Air Force Museum is the one that set 3 transcontinental speed records. West to East, East to West, and the round trip elapsed time. It did it with an external tank.
Now, it has one tank nested into another tank. The outer one contained fuel and a nuclear weapon, the inner one only carried fuel. Early in its career there was a problem with the tank (or tanks) leaving the airplane and there a relatively short period of time when they flew without an external tank.
On the day the records were set; there were 2 B-58's involved in a competition with each other. The first airplane had made its West to East run, refueled over the Atlantic and began the return run when the second airplane approached the east coast. The airplanes were on exactly reciprocal courses, each doing Mach 2. The second airplane had a mechanical and landed, it had made the West to East run 6 minutes slower than the first airplane.
Watching this on a radar scope with the targets closing on each other at about Mach 4, put chills up and down my spine, even though we knew they were at different altitudes.
The airplane also had pylons between the fuselage and the inboard engines where small nukes could be carried.