> wrote in message
> Myke Predko
> Carbon based life formOct 24
> How effective would the B-36 Peacemaker have been if it gets into World
> War II? It would have been awesome.
> While the cruise speed of the B-36 was basically the same as the B-29
> (around 235 MPH) it could do it at over 40,000 feet! There were no
> anti-aircraft cannon that could reach that altitude in World War II.
However there were fighters that could. Also the problems of accurate
bombing from that altitude were very real. From 10,000 feet the USSBS
calculated a small raid circular error to be 570 feet, versus a large raid
of 765 feet (large raids had the problem the early bomb bursts kicked up
dust and smoke obscuring the target), so the B-36 would do better given
its higher average bomb load. That will be lost if at altitude, from 20,000
feet the errors were calculated to be 830 and 1,070 feet, from 29,000 feet
1,605 and 1,700 feet.
> It’s range of 4,000 miles (in the early versions) with a 10,000 lb payload
> didn’t quite give it the range to attack Japan from the Aleutians but it
> could easily attack Berlin from Iceland. For shorter distances, the
> aircraft could carry up to 72,000 lbs of bombs.
Its main "competitor" bomb load wise would be the Lancaster at 10,065
pounds average bomb load for the war. At European ranges something
like 1 B-36 to say 5 Lancasters.
> Of course, if any fighters could climb to an altitude which would put the
> B-36 into danger, it could ably defend itself with 16 20mm cannon (12 in
> remote turrets).
The self defending bomber had long been discredited.
> There would only be one issue and it isn’t a trivial one - the B-36
> required much longer, wider and thicker runways than any other aircraft up
> to that point in time. When the first B-36 made its first flight, there
> were only three runways in the world that could handle the aircraft. The
> efforts to build B-29 runways around the world would be seen as creating
> goat paths in comparison to the effort that would be required for the
According to Arthur Harris a mid war RAF Heavy Bomber airfield cost
over a million pounds Sterling, so over 3 million dollars, which was of
course not big enough for the B-29.
The troubles with trying to figure out what a military aircraft cost is bad
enough but the post WWII inflation as price controls were relaxed makes
it worse, plus of course the ability to spread costs across a larger number
of production examples.
R-3350 $24,467 in 1942, $24,201 in 1943, $24,441 in 1944, $24,496 in 1945.
R-4360 $52,200 in 1942, $53,300 in 1944, $42,631 in 1945, $48,400 in 1946.
25 R-4360 built in 1944, 110 in 1945. 11,321 R-3350 built in 1944, 19,922
B-29 $865,036 in 1942, $574,058 in 1944, $467,927 in 1945.
B-36 in 1944, $2,541,138 or about 13.5 B-17 but requiring much less
B-50 in 1946 $1,039,521, in 1947 $1,084,230 (B-29 with R-4360)
B-50D in fiscal year 1948, $1,228,469.
And of course there were no B-36 in 1944, just a price estimate.
> But I would expect the war would have been over much, much sooner.
The B-29 was 5 February 1940 requirement issued, 24 August 1940 prototypes
ordered, production of 92 in 1943, 1,161 in 1944 (or total production 470 to
June 1944, which is probably the cut off point for much, much sooner),
4 given the costs and you have 120 or so B-36 for the same money.
B-32 prototypes ordered in September 1940, with 14 built to end 1944.
So an aircraft with first production of 1 in August 1947, then 6 in June
arriving in early 1944 and in numbers? And its bombing effect is so great
operation Overlord is not needed, or at least the allied armies are still in
France as the war in Europe ends? It certainly is an air force dream, but
consider the 6 months October 1944 to March 1945, Bomber Command and
the 8th Air Force between them dropped around 615,300 short tons of bombs
on Germany, without causing a surrender. At 25 short tons per B-36 that
out to 24,612 effective sorties.
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