The B-36 Peacemaker was a US Air Force’s long-range bomber used during the Cold War by the US Strategic Air Command. Developed by the firm Convair, it made its first flight as a prototype in August 1946, being introduced in 1949 and phased out in 1959. Despite the Korean War, the Peacemaker never saw combat action; instead it was utilized as a deterrence bomber, for its capacity to deliver nuclear bombs, in the Cold War scenario. Total production was 384 bombers. The Peacemaker was the last piston-engined bomber developed in the 20th century; it would be replaced by the B-47 Stratojet and the B-52 Stratofortress.
The Convair B-36 was powered by six 28-cylinder, Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major radial engines, which generated 3,800 horsepower each (total of 22,800 hp). It had shoulder wing, retractable landing gear, and an all-metal fuselage. It had the longest wingspan and the largest wing area of all the military aircraft ever produced in the United States, allowing this aircraft to fly at cruising altitudes higher than 40,000 ft (12,000 m) and to carry more than 35,000 kg of bombs (75,000 lb).
Type: long-range strategic bomber
Wingspan: 230 ft (70.12 m)
Length: 162 ft 1 in (49.42 m)
Height: 46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)
Wing area: 4,772 square ft (443.5 m2)
Maximum speed: 418 mph (672 km/h)
Range: 10,000 miles (16,000 km)
Weapons: two 20mm automatic guns in tail turret
Bombload: up to 86,000 lb