North American XB-45 - Tornado
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Jets45 Histories

North American XB-45 "Tornado"

    Bomber

    Engine: 4x Allison J35-A-7 turbojets making 4,000 lb of thrust each
    Wing Span: 89' 6''
    Length: 74'
    Height: 25' 2''
    Weight: Empty 41,876 lb / Loaded 82,600 lb
    MaximumSpeed: 483 mph
    Ceiling: 37,600'
    Range: 2921 miles
    Crew: 4
    Armament: 2x 0.50'' machine guns in tail turret / 22,000 lb of bombs

History:

The Grand Slam bomb

In 1944 North American Aviation submitted a proposal for four a engined jet powered bomber the NA130 in response to new USAAF specifications for jet powered bombers with four and six engines. The NA 130 was a conventional design with shoulder mounted wings and it's four engines mounted in pairs on the wing.

A development contract was issued on the 8/9/1944 for three prototype aircraft with the designation XB 45, at the same time three other companies were awarded contracts for there designs Convair ,Boeing and Martin. All aircraft would have to be able to carry the 22,000 lb "Grand Slam" bomb developed by the British.

Even before the XB 45 made it's first flight, the USAAF on 2/8/1946 announced that it would be endorsed for production over Convair's XB 46, with a contract being signed on 20/1/1947 for 95 aircraft. On the 17/3/1947 the XB 45 took to the air for the first time, piloted by George Krebs, altogether three XB 45 were made, unfortunately one of the aircraft was lost in a crash in 1947 with the lost of it's crew the other two however continued being used for tests, which reviled problems with the J35 engines, which would need excessive maintenance every seven hours for flight time.

In time with improved engines and other upgrades to the B 45, it would remain in service in one form or other until the 1960's. All together a total of 145 B 45's were made.

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