A Quora on the B-36

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a425couple

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Nov 3, 2021, 10:57:59 AM11/3/21
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(IMHO, the B-36 was very interesting,
and very impressive, but awfully expensive,
and the ineffectiveness of high level bombing
would not make up for the decrease in weapons
that actually won the war.)
There are interesting pictures and diagrams on
the original.)

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.

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.

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).

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 B-36.

But I would expect the war would have been over much, much sooner.

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Jim Wilkins

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Nov 3, 2021, 12:33:49 PM11/3/21
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"a425couple" wrote in message news:WrxgJ.12008$I%1.4...@fx36.iad...
--------------------

Why do you think the B-36 would have ended the war sooner? Over Germany the
favored bomber was our oldest, the B-17.
https://457thbombgroupassoc.org/b-29-superfortress-visit-to-glatton/

a425couple

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Nov 3, 2021, 10:54:32 PM11/3/21
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Interesting read. Thank you.


Jim Wilkins

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Nov 4, 2021, 12:57:32 PM11/4/21
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"Jim Wilkins" wrote in message news:sludlb$d2i$1...@dont-email.me...

....Over Germany the favored bomber was our oldest, the B-17.
------------------

This is relevant, if not definitive:
https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2017/06/30/boeing-b-17-flying-fortress-vs-the-consolidated-b-24-liberator/

"My father flew a B-17. He said it was amazing the battle damage that plane
would take. My uncle was a gunner on a B-24. He said that no self respecting
Liberator man would admit it, but they would have preferred the B-17."

"There was a serious problem in the design of the oxygen flow around the
upper ball turret. Wear and tear could cause a catastrophic failure leading
to an explosion that caused the plane to “disappear”.

Somewhere in my library is a first-hand account of a B24 suddenly gushing
fuel into the fuselage from a leak somewhere in the wing, which continues
across the center section. It didn't ignite, and the author suggested that
might be the reason B24s sometimes mysteriously blew up.

a425couple

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Nov 4, 2021, 2:12:00 PM11/4/21
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On 11/3/2021 9:33 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
> "a425couple"  wrote in message news:WrxgJ.12008$I%1.4...@fx36.iad...
>
> (IMHO, the B-36 was very interesting,
> and very impressive, but awfully expensive,
> and the ineffectiveness of high level bombing
> would not make up for the decrease in weapons
> that actually won the war.)
> There are interesting pictures and diagrams on
> the original.)
>
> 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.
>
> 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.
>
> 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).
> ----
>
> Why do you think the B-36 would have ended the war sooner?  Over Germany
> the favored bomber was our oldest, the B-17.
> https://457thbombgroupassoc.org/b-29-superfortress-visit-to-glatton/
>
Dear Jim, I do not think the B-36 would
have helped much, if any.
Too expensive, labor and material intensive.
IMHO, We had fine strategic bombing capacity with
the B-17, B-24, and finally in Pacific B-29.

Geoffrey Sinclair

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Nov 6, 2021, 1:42:06 PM11/6/21
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"a425couple" <a425c...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:WrxgJ.12008$I%1.4...@fx36.iad...
> 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
> B-36.

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
in 1944.

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
manpower.
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
end
June 1944, which is probably the cut off point for much, much sooner),
divide by
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
1948 is
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
works
out to 24,612 effective sorties.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.

a425couple

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Nov 9, 2021, 1:35:14 PM11/9/21
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On 11/6/2021 10:42 AM, Geoffrey Sinclair wrote:
> "a425couple" <a425c...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:WrxgJ.12008$I%1.4...@fx36.iad...
>> 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.
>
>> 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.
>

Mostly agree, however it turns out the B-36 had
some real advantages over the other bombers.

I can not find my books on it right now, but
I have read in the past about how the high
altitude versions of the B-36 were quite
immune to fighters.

Fighters could climb as high, but then, because
of wing loading, the big bomber was much more
maneuverable, and could just turn slightly away and
the fighters could not get back on the same track.

a425couple

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Nov 9, 2021, 1:44:10 PM11/9/21
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On 11/9/2021 10:35 AM, a425couple wrote:
> On 11/6/2021 10:42 AM, Geoffrey Sinclair wrote:
>> "a425couple" <a425c...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:WrxgJ.12008$I%1.4...@fx36.iad...
>>> 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.
>>> 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.
>>
>
> Mostly agree, however it turns out the B-36 had
> some real advantages over the other bombers.
>
> I can not find my books on it right now, but
---

Here are some hints at citations:

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FIGHTER PILOTS HEAVEN PB - Page 162
books.google.com › books
Lopez Ds · 2001
FOUND INSIDE – PAGE 162
With no bomb load and a light fuel load, the B-36 had a low wing
loading and a high power loading, making it surprisingly
maneuverable. The bomber pilots would constantly turn toward
the fighters, making it difficult to complete a ...


Boeing B-52 Stratofortress: Warrior Queen of the USAF
books.google.com › books
Jeanette Remak · 2017
FOUND INSIDE
The wing area permitted a cruising altitude above the operating
ceiling of any of the 1940s piston-turbine fighters. ...
This made the B-36 more maneuverable at high altitudes than many
of the USAF jet interceptors of the day.

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