Strategic Air Command’s Transitional Bomber
The B-47 was the aircraft upon which Strategic Air Command (SAC) based its capability pending the development and delivery of the B-52.
First proposed during the Second World War as a high-speed piston-powered reconnaissance platform, the B-47 evolved into what would become the first swept-wing, medium jet bomber and SAC’s most numerous operational aircraft. Given its pioneering role as a jet bomber and the ongoing evolution of SAC’s mission and US national security, the B-47 had more than its share of teething problems.
Initial Boeing flight tests mixed triumph with tragedy, and demonstrated that an entirely new way of flying a large aircraft was required. Poor reliability in the bombing-navigation and fire-control systems undermined the effectiveness of early B-47Bs but were eventually overcome as the aircraft evolved to fill many different roles.
Used as reconnaissance, weather, testbed and radio relay platforms, one variant, the EB-47E BLUE CRADLE, also demonstrated its versatility as an electronic warfare jammer whilst the RB-47H, ERB-47H, and EB-47E(TT) undertook electronic intelligence and gathered telemetry associated with the Soviet ICBM program.
Authors Mike Habermehl and former SAC pilot Robert S Hopkins III have combined years of research and experience to provide the ultimate history of the Stratojet.
Over 200 photographs and drawings. 240 pages. HB