The third B-36 and the first production aircraft made its maiden flight before the YB-36 on 28 August 1947. Its second and last flight was two days later to Wright-Patterson AFB where it was ground-tested to destruction. Photo from: San Diego Air & Space Museum
This Peacemaker was built by Convair at Fort Worth in December 1953 and delivered to the 7th Bombardment Wing (Heavy) (SAC) at Carswell AFB, TX. It was retired in April 1959 and flown to Offutt AFB, NE for display at the SAC Museum making this the second last B-36 flight. This museum moved to a purpose built building in Ashland in 1998 and was renamed the Strategic Air Command and Space Museum.
More than 380 B-36s were built for the USAF and served until they were retired during the late 1950s and replaced by B-52s. This aircraft had the distinction of performing the last ever B-36 flight when it flew from Davis-Monthan to Wright AFB on April 30, 1959 to be placed on display at the National Museum of the USAF.
Photographed in the restoration compound of the Pima Air & Space Museum. It is apparent that the guys working on her are really making progress now. This was the first time for me to see a Peacemaker and it will be a magnificent aircraft when finished.
The bomb bay of the B-36 almost seems more reminiscent of the interior of a giant cathedral than a space designed to carry 86,000lb of a conventional or nuclear payload (almost 10x that of a B-17!). This B-36 is on display at the incredible National Museum of the USAF.
This is the only surviving reconnaissance version of the B-36 and was assigned to the 28th SRW at Rapid City AFB, SD (Ellsworth AFB after June 1953) from 1952 to 1957. In 1957, it was reassigned to Chanute Air Force Base, IL, and was used as a ground instructional airframe. After retirement, it was placed on display at the Chanute Aerospace Museum but now resides at the superb Castle Air Museum.
Strategic Air Command B-36H 52-1363 on final approach to RAF Burtonwood (Lancashire) in October 1956 as part of a rare deployment of 16 B-36's to the UK. SAC band on nose. A small window in the forward fuselage causes the '6' appear to be an '8'.
The enormous B-36 was originally designed to bomb Nazi Germany from Newfoundland if necessary. Four auxiliary jet engines were added to the production aircraft which, though still slow, fulfilled an important role until the advent of the B-52.