Convair B-36J Peacemaker

Last revised March 3, 2000


The B-36J was the final production version of the B-36. It had two additional fuel tanks, one on the outer panel of each wing, which increased the fuel load by 2770 gallons, for a total fuel capacity of 36,396 gallons. It also had a much stronger landing gear, permitting a gross takeoff weight as high as 410,000 pounds.

The YB-36J flew for the first time in July of 1953. The first production B-36J flew in September of 1953.

The last 14 B-36Js were manufactured as B-36J(III) Featherweights, with all guns removed except the pair of cannon at the tail position. The crew was reduced to 13, and the blisters were replaced by flat windows. The reduction in weight enabled a service ceiling of 47,000 feet to be reached, although some missions were flow as high as 50,000 feet. In contrast to the other B-36 featherweights (which were modified after delivery), these planes were modified on the production line during manufacture.

A total of 33 B-36s were accepted, the last one (a III featherweight) being delivered on August 14, 1954.

Serials of Convair B-36J:

52-2210/2221	Convair B-36J-1-CF Peacemaker
52-2222/2226	Convair B-36J-5-CF Peacemaker
52-2812/2818	Convair B-36J-5-CF Peacemaker
52-2819/2827	Convair B-36J-10-CF Peacemaker

Specification of Convair B-36J Peacemaker:

Engines: Six 3800 Pratt & Whitney R-4360-53 Wasp Major air cooled radial engines, plus four 5200 lb.s.t. General Electric J47-GE-19 turbojets. Performance: Maximum speed 411 mph at 36,400 feet. Cruising speed 203 mph. Initial climb rate 1920 feet per minute. Service ceiling 39,900 feet. Range 6800 miles with 10,000 pound bombload. Weights: 171,035 pounds empty, 266,100 pounds combat, 410,000 pounds maximum. Dimensions: Wingspan 230 feet 0 inches, length 162 feet 1 inches, Height 46 feet 8 inches, wing area 4772 square feet. Armament: Two 20-mm M24A1 cannon each in six retractable, remotely-controlled fuselage turrets, tail turret and nose mounting, with 9200 rounds of ammunition. Normal bomb load up to 72,000 pounds. Maximum bomb load 86,000 pounds

Sources:


  1. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  2. Post-World War II Bombers, Marcelle Size Knaack, Office of Air Force History, 1988.

  3. General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  4. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  5. Convair B-36: A Comprehensive History of America's "Big Stick", Meyers K. Jacobsen, Schiffer Military History, 1997.