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"Size 36"


Subdeacon Joe

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The size of that bird was impressive to say the least. They have one hanging from the ceiling at the Air Force museum in Dayton and had a cargo version on static display at Kelly AFB way back in 1970. I got to walk through the one at Kelly and can attest to the fact that it was BIG!

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I got to see one in flight over southwest Missouri, probably in 46 or 47. Noisy thing.

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The real/reel star of "Strategic Air Command" starring Jimmy Stewart! Some of those scenes of the B-36 flying above the clouds are truly spectacular! Although the B-47 appeared as the "sexy successor" to the B-36 in the movie, in reality the B-52 has filled that role. Some B-47's were turned into the RB-47 reconnaisance version, an a number were lost during electronic intelligence missions along the Soviet coasts. :( The B-52, of course has turned into both a strategic and tactical workhorse, augmented by the B-1B, and B-2 bombers. I do remember seeing a B-36 flying near my house back in the early 1950's in Chicago! Quite a sight!

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The question I have is what could have caused an explosion sufficiently large to flip the entire plane upsidedown? If it was explosives brought in by the special ops team, why do that? To keep any Russian agents from learning about the design of the B-36? Certainly not to destroy the Mark IV. Yet there was some higher-than-background radiation present at the site. That suggests maybe part of the bomb, such as part of one of the uranium plugs that would have been inserted after the pit would have been installed. That suggests that either the pit was NOT installed in the bomb, or that if it was, the bomb was not completely armed, and since there was NOT a significant amount of radiation found at the crash site, they may have gotten rid of the Mark IV over/in the ocean. That would suggest that it might have fallen intact into the sea, and, if so, it could be resting on the bottom somewhere. OTOH, IF the bomb was jettisoned over the ocean, and the arming system was armed, the bomb could have detonated the high explosives either simply scattering the radioactive materials over/into the ocean, or giving an incomplete yield nuclear explosion. All of the above, just from my analytic engineering mind, and NOT BASED ON ANY OTHER KNOWLEDGE THAN WHAT YOU COULD GET ON THE INTERNET! Guess we'll never know...unless the gubmint releases more information.

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That machine is a whole lot of work, and the efforts of those men are a whole lot of learning and executing that kept the cold war from getting hotter.

Great video.

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