Boeing B-47

The futuristic-looking B-47 Stratojet bomber formed the core of the United States’s nuclear bomber force in the 1950s. It proved to be a revolutionary aircraft in both design and performance. When Boeing set out to create a jet -powered multi-engine bomber for the US Army Air Force in 1944, the designers though in terms of a straight-winged aeroplane such as the B-29 Superfortress. After the defeat of the Nazis in May 1945, however, they were able to examine German wartime research on jet aircraft and realized that a swept wing would be far more efficient at high subsonic speed. A radical rethink produced the B-47, with a 35-degree swept wing mounted high on the fuselage and six jet engines housed in pods on underwing pylons. The bomber initially also had 18 rockets in the fuselage for assisted
take-off, to blast il into the air when fully laden with bombs and fuel. A drag parachute deployed to slow the aircraft on landing.
The B-47 was astonishingly fast and it was confidently expected to survive on missions with minimal armament, due to its exceptional speed and altitude. However, it was not entirely satisfactory, since it lacked the intercontinental range to carry out a strike on the Soviet Union directly from bases in the United States. This problem was eventually solved bv the introduction of in-flight refuelling.

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