An225
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Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:53 am

Hello all,
I am not sure if this is a pure military aviation topic, but couldn't find a better place to post...

I saw this beutiful picture of a B-36J in storage the other day:


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Photo © Szabo Gabor



It look in great shape which could make it a great candidate for aviation museum display. Yet, it is baking under the sun at Davis-Monthan AFB in storage.

Now, two questions come to mind:
1. Why keep this bird in storage and not give her a new home so people would view her?
2. Since other vintage aircraft are all around, what are the US Air Force policy on keeping its old and obsolete birds? do they think they will make any use in the future?

Thanks,

An225

[Edited 2013-11-29 03:41:19 by SA7700]
 
BMI727
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:14 am

It looks like it might actually be at the adjacent Pima Air Museum.

The planes in the boneyard are all in relatively good shape and the planes at the museum are in relatively poor shape for museum pieces, so I can see the confusion. The odd parking pattern and variety of types in that picture makes me think it's definitely the museum.
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rwessel
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:03 am

While it's darn unlikely a B-36 would ever be re-activated, every once in a while a really old aircraft does come back. Earlier this year NASA finished refurbishing an RB-57F (63-13295, originally built as a B-57B, 53-3918) that had been stored at AMARG since 1972. Now flying as a WB-57F, N927NA.

It's a bit hard to tell, but it looks like the B-36 in the photo is 52-2827, which should only make it a year or so older than NASA's "new" WB-57. (52-2827 was delivered to the USAF in August 1954, but I can't find the delivery date for 53-3918, but based on the serial number, the Canberra was ordered the year after the Peacemaker).
 
zanl188
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:56 pm

I can't post the link at the moment but it's definitley the Puma Air Museum B-36. Puma is directly adjacent to Davis Monthan.
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rfields5421
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:42 pm

Google Earth shows it is definitely sitting on the Pima Air & Space Museum property.

Davis-Monthan does have an 'exhibition row' of unique or high interest aircraft types that is part of the Pima tour of the boneyard.

Quoting An225 (Thread starter):
2. Since other vintage aircraft are all around, what are the US Air Force policy on keeping its old and obsolete birds? do they think they will make any use in the future?

The Air Force and the other services which have aircraft at Davis-Monthan have kind of varying policies as far as I can tell. They are reluctant to dispose of the last example of an aircraft, however there are many on 'Museum Hold'. But there are many more aircraft which should be preserved than there are museums or money to take.

EDIT - I should also add that there are more aircraft up for disposal than there are buyers. The supply of scrap aluminum, and salvaged aircraft parts, is quite full at this time.

Heck even scrap steel from ships is over supply/ under priced currently. The US Navy recently sold an aircraft carrier for one cent - but the salvage company has to move it to their yard at their own expense.

[Edited 2013-11-25 06:39:57]
 
4holer
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:45 pm

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 3):
I can't post the link at the moment but it's definitley the Pima Air Museum B-36. Pima is directly adjacent to Davis Monthan.
http://www.pimaair.org/index.php

Edit:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 4):
Google Earth shows it is definitely sitting on the Pima Air & Space Museum property.
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=pima+a...5651&t=h&z=17

size=-4>


[Edited 2013-11-25 05:55:40]
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Stitch
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:30 pm

There is also an aerial shot of the museum (and the B-36) on a.net:


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Photo © K. Bell

 
RussianJet
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:06 pm

Ah, my favourite ten-engined plane!

No matter where it is, I'm just glad it's still about.
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:51 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 7):
Ah, my favourite ten-engined plane!

No matter where it is, I'm just glad it's still about.

  

I love how it stands alone...like it's the centerpiece of the museum.
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scbriml
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:41 pm

It is indeed the Pima Air & Space museum. For some reason, that I've never bothered to question, the museum is listed here as being DMA, even though, as far as I know, it isn't connected to the base in any way. One of a.net's little mysteries.

But, yes. It's an amazing plane!

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HaveBlue
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:44 pm

A favorite plane of mine as well, and got to see her 2 months ago when I was up near Dayton visiting family.

6 pusher props, plus 4 jet engines, makes you pretty unique. Then they try and have parasite fighter jet aircraft come out of your belly (XF-85 Goblin, RF-84 FICON) or clip 2 F-84's, one to each wing (Project Tom-Tom). Or add a second deck the entire length of the enormous plane and call it the XC-99.

They definitely were inventive back then  
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L-188
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:01 pm

Keep in mind too that despite its outward appearances there is a good chance the airframe has significant corrosion problems due to the Alloys used in its construction.

Putting aside any jokes about it being built out of, "Unobtainium" it did get the nickname magnesium overcast for a reason.
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planesofthepast
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:55 am

Actually, the B-36 at the Pima Air and Space Museum is a nice restoration, at least from outward appearances.

I have several photos of the plane I took at my last visit to the museum posted at ...

http://www.planesofthepast.com/b36-pima-air-museum.htm

It is one of only four surviving Peacemakers, the others being at the Castle Air Museum in California, the Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, and the Strategic Air Museum near Omaha.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:44 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 9):
But, yes. It's an amazing plane!

Ten engines, six of them mounted backwards, a mixture of jets and props.....the only thing that could possibly make it cooler is more wings!  
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4holer
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:48 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 13):
Ten engines, six of them mounted backwards, a mixture of jets and props.....the only thing that could possibly make it cooler is more wings!

Four letters.
R A T O
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planesofthepast
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:50 am

For those who have not been to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base 's AMARG boneyard, or the Pima Air and Space Museum, here is my map of the area ...



I have more written about the boneyard at ... http://www.planesofthepast.com/davis-monthan-afb.htm
 
Buckeyetech
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:57 pm

One of the better exhibits at the NMUSAF, with the open bomb bay doors. Does anybody know if any of the B-36's gun turrets survived other than the one on display at the museum? I know most B-36's had them removed during a modification to lighten their gross weight.


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Photo © Alastair T. Gardiner - WorldAirImages



A little off subject but why is this aircraft still in storage? Doing a little surfing, I dug up this link of a CASA 2.111. If it were to be restored at some point in the distant future, would you rather see it restored with Spanish Air Force markings, or make it look like a WWII era Luftwaffe bird?

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=10836
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zanl188
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:29 pm

Quoting buckeyetech (Reply 16):
A little off subject but why is this aircraft still in storage?

- Lack of display space
- Not a historically significant type - at least from USAF perspective. CASA built with RR Merlin engines. Might be good trading material though.

Was it used in the filming of Battle Of Britain?
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baileyncreme
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:14 pm

oh!

zoom in all the way on the Google Maps link below.

http://goo.gl/maps/MojT3

Look close!

on another note....can I buy a used Navy F-4..?? Looks like they have a few.
Don't need to fly it, just want to sit in it whenever I'd like and dream!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:42 am

IIRC, 52-2827 is actually an RB-36J.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:26 am

Quoting baileyncreme (Reply 18):
can I buy a used Navy F-4..?? Looks like they have a few.
Don't need to fly it, just want to sit in it whenever I'd like and dream!

There is a junk yard/ recycling center on the north frontage road of I-30 about 25 miles west of the Arkansas line outside Texarkana. Exit 213. He had a F-105 out front for at least 15 years. The USAF finally made him actually recycle the aircraft.

He bought another plane, I think it is a F-111, which sits there now - easily visible from I-30.

Start a search on the internet, you can probably find one available. The cost probably won't be high - but transportation to your home might be more than you want to pay.
 
rwessel
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:30 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
IIRC, 52-2827 is actually an RB-36J.

I didn't think that any of the J's were built as, or converted to, R's.
 
boeingfixer
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:02 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
IIRC, 52-2827 is actually an RB-36J.

There were no RB-36J's. The only official RB's were the D, E, F and H. 52-2827 was completed off the assembly line as a B-36J Featherweight III and was never modified from this configuration and was retired as such.

Cheers,

John
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rwessel
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:04 pm

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 22):
The only official RB's were the D, E, F and H.

I'm pretty sure there were a few (39, IIRC) B-36Bs fitted with camera pods in the bomb-bays that were called RB-36Bs for a while, although I'm not sure if that was an official designation. 64 of the Bs were converted to Ds, including seven Rs, although I don't know if there was any preference for converting the RB-36Bs to RB-36Ds (and most of the RB-36Bs did end up as B-36Ds).
 
boeingfixer
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:19 pm

Quoting rwessel (Reply 23):
I'm pretty sure there were a few (39, IIRC) B-36Bs fitted with camera pods in the bomb-bays that were called RB-36Bs for a while, although I'm not sure if that was an official designation.

There were indeed B-36B's with removable cameras in the bomb bays. They never received the official designation of RB-36B but at the squadron level they used RB-36B as a designation when the removable cameras were installed.

Cheers,

John
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jetstar
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:05 pm

Here is a brief hietory of this B-36J, 52-2827

It was the final B-36 built, named "The City of Fort Worth", and loaned to the city of Fort Worth, Texas on 12 February 1959. It sat on the field at the Greater Southwest International Airport until that property was redeveloped as a business park (some attempts were made to begin restoration there, during in the 1970s). It then moved to the short-lived Southwest Aero Museum, which was located between the former Carswell Air Force Base (now Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth) and the former General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) assembly plant, where it was originally built; some restoration took place while at the plant.

As Lockheed Martin had no place to display the finished aircraft, and local community efforts in Fort Worth to build a facility to house and maintain the massive aircraft fell short, the USAF Museum retook possession of the aircraft and it was transported to Tucson, Arizona for loan to the Pima Air & Space Museum where it was restored and reassembled at that museum.

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kc135topboom
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RE: Why Keep This Bird In Storage?

Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:22 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
There is a junk yard/ recycling center on the north frontage road of I-30 about 25 miles west of the Arkansas line outside Texarkana. Exit 213. He had a F-105 out front for at least 15 years. The USAF finally made him actually recycle the aircraft.

He bought another plane, I think it is a F-111, which sits there now - easily visible from I-30.

Actually it is an FB-111 with the longer wings.

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