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DodgeCharger
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B-36 Memories

Mon Sep 01, 2003 10:07 am

Ok, I thought of this while reading the thread about B-47s.

I've always loved the B-36. Being born in 1980 though means I never have seen a flying example or have any memories of them. The only one I have ever seen was the one that sat out on the west side (I think) of the old Carswell AFB (now Carswell JRB) in Fort Worth. It was in pretty sad shape. Anyways, does anybody out there have any memories of them flying or maybe living near an AFB and hearing the roar of the 6 engines plus 4 turbojets. From what I have heard they were like flying earthquakes when one would fly over someones house at lowlevel. Any stories would be appreciated! Thanks.

DodgeCharger
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: B-36 Memories

Mon Sep 01, 2003 10:51 am

Well I can't give you any memories of the B-36 myself, since I'm 42 yrs old...the last B-36 flight took place in 1959! That ship now resides at the US Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton Ohio. 385 B-36s were built, with 4 complete airframes still intact today. I highly recommend the 1955 movie 'Strategic Air Command' with James Stewart. Plenty of footage with B-36s in it, including my favorite scene where Stewart is taking his first check ride on the aircraft. That take-off roll is simply awesome! Good luck on your quest for B-36 memories. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
DodgeCharger
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RE: B-36 Memories

Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:49 am

FlagshipAZ,
You are right on with recommending "Strategic Air Commend." I recommended it in the other post about the B-47s. I love the air to air scenery in that movie. The shots are absolutely beautiful.
 
L-188
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RE: B-36 Memories

Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:58 am

I believe that Jimmy Stewart did a bunch of his own flying in that movie.

He retired a brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve you know.


Is SAC ever going to be re-released on DVD?
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
2912n
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RE: B-36 Memories

Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:16 am

It is available....

http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?PID=1137618&frm=sh_google

$10.59 and ships in 1 to 2 days....I think I will order a copy!

Ahhh, I am not that smart...it is only on VHS...sorry.  Sad

[Edited 2003-09-01 22:17:19]
 
broke
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RE: B-36 Memories

Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:27 pm

My first memories to the B-36 were in the late 1950's. Occasionally a B-36 would fly over my home town, always at altitude. The airplane had a very distinctive sound and even at high altitudes was easily identifiable.
But once you heard a B-36, you always knew it by its sound.
I understand the Bear also has a very distinctive sound.
When I was in the Air Force, I had friends who were crew members on the B-36; they told me that it was a rare mission that you didn't have a problem with at least one engine.
The B-36 had 2 flight engineers on the crew. At the start of the mission, both were very sharp looking; at the end of the mission, it was usually not so.
The junior FE often had to crawl through a tunnel in the wing to replace the plugs on one of the R-4360's (28 cylinders, 56 plugs); the result was that they looked like they had worked in a coal mine.
The airplane also has a long tunnel connecting the forward cabin with the aft. The tunnel ran along one side of the bomb bays. There was a little crawler on rails in the tunnel that you would ride on and a cable along the top of the tunnel that you would propel yourself hand over hand.
Standard procedure was to close the doors on each end of the tunnel while someone was traversing. This would keep them from becoming a projectile, if one cabin depressurized.
 
JohnM
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RE: B-36 Memories

Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:20 am

My fond memory of a B-36 is from Chanute AFB, IL in the mid 70's. The B-36 was on static display, and I would pause under it's fusalage and read some of my mail on the way to my barracks from the post office. Somebody was asking a while back what happened to this A/C when Chanute closed, but I don't know. I would love to see it again and bring back those memories from the "good old days".
 
SWA TPA
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RE: B-36 Memories

Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:26 am

JohnM-

I can answer a little bit of your question about the B-36 at Chanute AFB. I went thru there for training during the end of 1990 (Aircraft Maintenance Scheduling) and when I arrived they were busy disassembling that aircraft and it was in pieces on flat train cars. I was told they were taking it away to refurbish her and place her in a museum. I have no idea what museum she was destined for though.
I just remember being 18 years old and upset that I missed out on seeing that aircraft.
My dad was an instructor at Chanute during the 60's and came to visit me while I was there. He was real surprised to see that B-52 still sitting there. He taught avionics on it!
I believe I can fly.....
 
SWA TPA
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RE: B-36 Memories

Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:31 am

BTW I love the movie Strategic Air Command also. Its especially great for me because I was based at Carswell AFB from 1990-1992 and I was born and raised and currently reside in TPA (MacDill AFB). The only thing is the lead actress (her name currently escapes me. I know she does Depend Undergarment commercials now) drives me nuts all thru the movie! Horrible acting on her part!  Big grin
the rest of the movie I love.
I believe I can fly.....
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: B-36 Memories

Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:05 am

This is what I have in print on the surviving B-36s.

YB-36A 42-13571 in Newbury Ohio
B-36J 52-2220 in Dayton Ohio
B-36J 52-2827A in Ft Worth Texas
RB-36H 51-13730 in Atwater California
B-36J 52-2817 in Ashland Nebraska

I'm sure that one of these B-36 (not the Dayton a/c) is the Chanute AFB aircraft. BTW, that actress is June Allyson. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
SWA TPA
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RE: B-36 Memories

Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:29 am

Thanks  Smile

I could see all the ladies yelling her name in the commercial and I thought it might be June but the last name totally escaped me!
I believe I can fly.....
 
SWA TPA
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RE: B-36 Memories

Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:42 pm

Hey! Check out this nifty web site!!! Tells all about (and shows) what became of the Chanute bird!!!

http://www.air-and-space.com/b-36%20survivors.htm

Enjoy  Smile

Tara
I believe I can fly.....
 
JohnM
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RE: B-36 Memories

Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:52 pm

SWA TPA,
Thanks for the good info about the Chanute B-36. The link was great also. The RB-66 that my school used (Aircraft electrician) is still at the former Chanute (now Rantoul airport) in the museum.
John
 
AvObserver
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RE: B-36 Memories

Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:34 am

This was a great and noteworthy aircraft, a transitional from the piston to the jet age. The size of the B-36 takes the breath away, I've inspected the one at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio-simply awesome! Only when the first A380 is completed, will the B-36's 230' wingspan be surpassed. Convair did extensive wind tunnel work to arrive at its' shape, doing away with the original proposed double-tail, canting the wings 3 degrees back and going with pusher, instead of the original tractor propellors. Still, it was slow and we might be lucky it never saw combat, I imagine it would've been a sitting duck for Soviet Migs. I've an impressive 1:100 scale model of the B-36J (commonly available)-the wingspan of THAT is 27 and 3/4"! Truly a remarkable airplane!
 
Fredadx
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RE: B-36 Memories

Fri Dec 10, 2004 12:29 pm



AvObserver,

I agree with you 110 percent on the B-36 being a great and noteworthy aircraft. The Peacemaker, I believe the military called her, definetely kept the peace. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the B-36 did not see a single day of combat during her short service with the Strategic Air Command. That aircraft probably would have been able to cause alot of damage if she was sent into combat. As far as the size goes, she takes my breath away also. Actually, her wingspan- 230ft. is 8ft. greater than the largest US Military aircraft currently flying, the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy! Now that is big! Sadly though there are two types of Russian aircraft that are currently flying with a wingspan that surpasses the B-36. The Antonov An-124 Condor with a wingspan of 240ft. and the An-225 Myria with a 290ft. wingspan. Them darn Russians!!
 
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f4wso
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RE: B-36 Memories

Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:58 pm

Strategic Air Command, had some of the best air to air sequences of any flying genre movie. The B-47 cockpit mockup from the movie now resides in the museum at March in Riverside, California.

I was fortunate to be passing through Atwater when the Chanute B-36 was copmpleted for display. It was an awesome sight.
Gary
Cottage Grove, MN
Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
 
SlamClick
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RE: B-36 Memories

Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:41 am

A couple of B-36 memories.

I was the small-town kid-who-liked-airplanes. Since there was no airport nearby a low-flying airplane was a treat. One day in about 1953 or 54 I was standing in the back yard and heard that distinctive drone. I ran out away from the house and looked up. There was a huge formation of B-36 flying down the coast at, I'd guess, about 2000 feet. In all, there were thirty six of them in V-of-3. It was staggering! Years later when I first heard the phrase "aluminum overcast" this is what I would picture. They covered the sky for what seemed like a full minute.

A few years later at an open house at Hamilton AFB just north of San Francisco two of them made a low-level flyby, again at about two thousand feet. I suppose SAC doctrine did not permit them to land at a non-SAC base because there was one of just about every other plane in the inventory on static display. Anyway the crowd fell silent while they passed over.

The B-36 at Wright-Pat has been shortened to fit in the display space. If you compare it with the one in Nebraska the fuselage has been sectioned. The wing is normal though, and that is the really impressive feature.

Somewhere I've seen a very large format aerial photo of Lindbergh Field in San Diego with about a dozen B-36 parked all over the airport, awaiting delivery to the USAF. Would I love to have been there on that day.

I used to work with a guy who'd worked at Convair in SAN when it was in production. He said that he once took a team of inspectors aboard one that had already been accepted by the Air Force and they did a last-chance inspection to inspect their own inspection process. They recovered over thirty pounds of lost tools from various spaces within the airplane - bucking bars, cleco pliers and so on.

It was a wonderful machine. I guess it is time for me to watch Strategic Air Command again.


Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
EMBQA
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RE: B-36 Memories

Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:19 am

....including my favorite scene where Stewart is taking his first check ride on the aircraft....

June Allison: "Where have you been..? I thought you said it would be just one take off and landing..??"

Jimmy Stewart: "Well it was, but we went up to Alaska and turned around first.!!"

Those air to air shots as they pass through the clouds are GREAT.

Sad, at least for right now this movie is not on DVD...just VHS
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
dl757md
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RE: B-36 Memories

Sat Dec 11, 2004 4:01 pm

I have no personal memories of the B-36 but the best website I've found on it is http://www.cowtown.net/proweb/B36_Home.htm

They have a cool audio file of a B-36 overflight here http://www.cowtown.net/proweb/images/b36.wav

Dl757Md
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
 
CaptOveur
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RE: B-36 Memories

Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:20 am

"The B-36 at Wright-Pat has been shortened to fit in the display space.'


Bull... do you have any information supporting this? i have personally been inside this airplane during a museum crawl and it has not been modified, also the AF museum info says nothing of a shortening.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
SATL382G
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RE: B-36 Memories

Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:32 am

Concur with Captoveur -- I've seen this aircraft and do not believe it has been sectioned. It would have fit in it's old location without sectioning anyhow...

SAC was particular about where B-36s landed due to runway strength requirements.

"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: B-36 Memories

Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:46 am

Agreeing with Captoveur & SATL382G, I too, have seen the B-36J at WPAFB, and it has NOT been altered. This bird was the last flyable B-36 when the type was phased out of the USAF inventory in the late 1950s. In fact, the shape this particular B-36 is in now, it could take to the air again on short notice, if someone has the balls to authorize it.  Wink/being sarcastic Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
SlamClick
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RE: B-36 Memories

Sun Dec 19, 2004 2:00 am

Guys it looks like I will have to eat my words for now.

I took a friend's word about the WPAFB B-36 being sectioned to fit. I visited the museum several times with that "fact" in my head and it did appear to me to have been shorter than the one in Nebraska.

On the one hand I would not expect a museum to admit to having modified an artifact. On the other, I cannot find any evidence to support what I'd been told, and passed on without verifying. I've been looking for pictures of the tail section of the WPAFB ship but have not been able to find any. The forward end does appear to match, exactly, the length of the other. Note that the leading edge of the wing is just above the 4th bomb bay door panel.

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Perhaps the tail section looked shorter because of the clutter of other aircraft around it. For sure, the fuselage is overwhelmed by that gigantic wing.

I am still looking for photographic evidence regarding the tail section. If I find it, I will post it, even if it proves that I am full of crap.

Sorry folks.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
SATL382G
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RE: B-36 Memories

Sun Dec 19, 2004 2:06 am

I'd imagine your friend was thinking of the original B-36 the museum had. That aircraft was cut up and what's left is owned by a farmer in Ohio (mentioned elsewhere in this thread I believe).

The present B-36 resided for many years in a hangar designed/purpose built to accomodate it, same as the new hangar it's in now.
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
CaptOveur
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RE: B-36 Memories

Mon Dec 20, 2004 2:19 am

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/air_power/ap39.htm

This shows the tail, it isn't the greatest shot. I can tell you from personally walking around the airplane in question yesterday that there is no good place to cut it. The bombay runs forward of the wing upto the crew compartment, which I have personally been in. In the back section the tail and the bombay overlap.. there is no good place to remove a section of fuselage.

And if the AF museum hacked the airplane, they would say as much, they are pretty hung up on being accurate.
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.

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