North American B-45C Tornado
The B-45 was the first American
four-engine jet bomber to fly and the first USAF jet bomber to go into
production. Work on the design of the "Tornado" began during WW II and the
first B-45 made its initial flight on March 17, 1947. B-45s remained in
USAF operational use from 1948 until 1958.
North American built a total of 142
B-45s including 10 long-range B-45Cs with wingtip fuel tanks and 33 RB-45s
configured for high altitude photo reconnaissance. Some RB-45Cs flew
combat missions during the Korean War.
In 1952, using in-flight
RB-45Cs made the first nonstop trans-Pacific flight by multi-engine jet
bombers. In flying the 3,640 miles from Alaska to Japan in 9 hours and 50
minutes, one of the pilots won the Mackay Trophy for the most meritorious
flight of that year.
Span: 89 ft.
Length: 75 ft. 4 in.
Height: 25 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 110,000 lbs. max.
Armament: Two .50-cal. machine guns in the tail; 22,000 lbs. of
Engines: Four General Electric J47s of 6,000 lbs. thrust ea.
Serial Number: 48-010
Maximum speed: 570 mph.
Cruising speed: 500 mph.
Range: 1000 miles
Service Ceiling: 37,550 ft.