B-36J Peacemaker at Dayton

First flown in July 1953, the B-36J was the ultimate new-build version of the Peacemaker, and would be the last of the type to be employed by the Strategic Air Command. The day of the piston-engined bomber was definitely waning by 1953, but as the B-52 was still a ways off from entering service, Convair would turn out 33 J-models, with stronger landing gear and extra wing fuel. Fourteen examples were built to the stripped Featherweight configuration and the others were refitted to give them more altitude capability.

B-36 Peacemaker photo

B-36J on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force

The NMUSAF’s example was flown to Wright Field after the B-36’s phaseout in early 1959, and now sits in the Cold War Gallery. It has the white anti-flash undersides designed to reflect the heat of nearby nuclear detonations.


B-36 Peacemaker in action – a book review

Tupolev’s mythical Tu-200

“American Secret Projects: Fighters, Bombers, and Attack Aircraft, 1937-1945” a review   Includes coverage of early B-36 designs