Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hustlin' Hustler!

Naturally, Pima Air Museum had one of the coolest supersonic bombers that ever took to the sky.
Convair's B-58 Hustler was a Mach 2 nuclear attack bomber that Strategic Air Command (SAC) few from 1960 to 1970. Originally designed as a high-altitude bomber that had it's high speed as it's main attribute, advances in Soviet missile technology caused SAC to rethink it's use of the aircraft and it became a low-altitude nuclear bomber instead. But low-altitude operation caused it to burn a lot more fuel and drastically limited it's range, so it was eventually replaced by the General Dynamics F-111.
The B-58 could not carry conventional bombs--just nukes--and it didn't have an internal bomb bay. Instead, the bomb was slung below in a large pod which also carried extra fuel for the aircraft.

It was a fast aircraft, winning the Bendix and McKay trophies for speed back in it's day, but it was also difficult to fly; almost a quarter of the B-58 fleet was lost to accidents, in large part due to the plane's unique handling issues. As a result, it's three-man crews were picked from SAC's best.
116 were built and flown during the 1960's. Today, eight survive in museums across the country. It was an advanced plane for it's time, and there's no denying that it was one of the sexiest bombers that ever flew.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Cessna 172 to go work on while you all enjoy this wonder-jet.


  1. Convair made some fast airplanes. The Convair 990 was the fastest subsonic airliner, although people will argue the VC-10 and B-747 were faster.

  2. I still think that when they designed the B-1 Lancer, they "embiggened" the Hustler Fuselage. Do a side-by-side of some photos. Definitely looks "Related," IMHO.

  3. I love that aircraft! Thanks for that!

  4. Absolutely a beautiful, sexy, fast looking airplane. Lt. Col. H. J. "Dutch" Deutschendorf set speed records in the B-58. Talk about Leavin' on a Jet Plane!

  5. My all-time favorite jet bomber!

  6. One of my favorites!