Convair B-36 Peacemaker- Serial # 42-13571, featured in Hollywood Epic 'Strategic Air Command'
CONVAIR B-36 PEACEMAKER
The Convair B-36 was conceived in 1941, right as the U.S. was preparing for and entering the second World War. Dubbed “The Peacemaker”, the huge strategic bomber had the longest wingspan of any combat plane built and was the largest mass-produced piston-engined plane. Although it was capable of intercontinental flight and delivering nuclear weapons, it was never used in combat. Very few remain today, including one, 42-13571, which was added to the Walter Soplata Collection in August 1972 and is now a part of the PlaneTags fleet.
DEVELOPED FOR A DARK FUTURE WHICH WOULD NEVER COME TO PASS
Built from 1949 to 1959 as an ultra-long-range intercontinental bomber designed to penetrate deep into enemy territory without a fighter escort and without refueling.
One of the 5 saved from the scrapyard, our B-36 Peacemaker, Serial # 42-13571 was the first to be converted to the bubble canopy. Originally designed for Britain’s potential fall under the German “Blitz”, a new class of bomber that could bomb Berlin and return home in one flight. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the B-36 was put into full production for its ability to reach Tokyo from Hawaii.
The simple threat of the B-36’s range was thought to have been one of the best protectors of our shores during the Cold War. Although built for the aggressive, long-range bombing, the B-36 was never used in combat – it never went to war, it never dropped a bomb in anger, and it was never reported as firing its cannon at an enemy airplane. During the years the B-36 was in service, the airplane was one of America's major deterrents to aggression by a potential enemy, earning it the name of Peacekeeper.
Although never part of the fight abroad, the B-36 was centerstage during the bitter Revolt of the Admirals, pitting the Navy’s aircraft carriers against the Air Force’s strategic land-based bombing force.
The B-36 starred in 1955’s Hollywood epic, Strategic Air Command, alongside Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson. The B-36 was on display in the 50s and 60s at the former site of the Air Force Museum but was slated to be scrapped when the cost of moving it to the new museum location was too high.
One of the 5 saved from the scrapyard, our B-36 Peacemaker, Serial # 42-13571 was the first prototype to be covered to the bubble canopy used on production B-36s.