The B-45 Tornado was a strategic jet bomber used by the US Air Force during the Cold War. Being part of the United States deterrent arsenal, it had the capacity to carry nuclear weapons but it could also drop conventional bombs, with a payload of 22,000 lb (10,000 kg). However, the B-45 was not a long range aircraft; although the B-45C version could be re-fueled in mid-air, that was a big short-coming in this period. Developed and produced by North American Aviation, it first flew in March 1947 and entered service in April 1948, being phased out in 1959. It saw combat action in the Korean War, carrying out reconnaissance and bombing missions, with dumb bombs, against armoured units and ground troops.

B-45_Tornado

The B-45 had conventional straight wings, mounted high on the fuselage, and retractable landing gear. It was powered by four General Electric J47-GE-13 jet engines, with 5,200 lbf each. It had a maximum speed of 570 miles and a range of 1,000 miles, which was not long enough for a Cold War strategic bomber. Defensive armament consisted of two .50-caliber machine guns operated by tail gunner.

Specifications

Type: strategic bomber

Wingspan: 89 ft (27.14 m)

Length: 75 ft 4 in (22.96 m)

Height: 25 ft 2 in (7.67 m)

Wing area: 1,125 ft2 (104.5 m2)

b-45

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