Convair RB-36E Peacemaker

Last revised February 27, 2000

In early 1950, Convair began conversion of the B-36As to the reconnaissance configuration. Included in the conversions was the sole YB-36 (42-13571). These converted planes were all redesignated RB-36E. The six R-4360-25 engines were replaced by six R-4360-41s--the more powerful engines already installed in the B-36Bs. They were also equipped with the four J47 jet engines that were fitted to the RB-36D. They were equipped with fourteen K-17C, K-22A, K-38, and K-40 cameras. It also received some of the B-36B's more advanced electronics. Its normal crew was 22, which included 5 gunners to man the 16 M-24A-1 20-mm cannon. The last conversion was completed in July of 1951.


  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.