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B-45 Tornado jet bomber of the U.S. Air Force (Friend or Foe trading card series from the author's historical archive)

B-45 Tornado jet bomber of the U.S. Air Force (Friend or Foe trading card series from the author's historical archive)North American B-45 Tornado
(from the author's Topps Wings Friend or Foe collection)s)

B-45 Tornado Jet Bomber

The B-45 Tornado was the first American four-engine jet bomber to fly, and the first American production jet bomber, built by North American Aviation.

It was also the first jet bomber capable of carrying an atomic bomb, and the first multi-jet reconnaissance aircraft to refuel in mid-air.

Design of the Tornado began during World War II, and the B-45 made its first flight in March 1947.

The B-45 was an important part of the United States' nuclear deterrent for several years in the early 1950s, but was replaced by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet when it came into the USAF fleet. The B-45 served in the Korean War in which it provided its value as a bomber and as a reconnaissance aircraft.

B-45s and RB-45s served in the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command from 1950 until 1959.

North American built 142 B-45s, including 10 long-range B-45Cs with wingtip fuel tanks and 33 RB-45Cs (see photo below) configured for high-altitude photo reconnaissance and aerial refueling.

B-25 Tornado Bomber Technical Specifications

Armament: Two .50-cal. machine guns in the tail and 22,000 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Four General Electric J47s of 6,000 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: 570 mph
Range: 1,000 miles
Ceiling: 37,550 ft.
Span: 89 ft.
Length: 75 ft. 4 in.
Height: 25 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 110,000 lbs. maximum 

B-45 Photo

North American Aviation RB-45C - Four Jet US Air Force Bomber
North American Aviation RB-45C - Four Jet US Air Force Bomber

 

USAF B-45 Tornado Photographs

North American B-45A of the U.S. Air Force, S/N 7057, Buzz Number BE-057
North American B-45A of the U.S. Air Force, S/N 7057, Buzz Number BE-057
North American B-45A Tornados on the tarmac, Langley Air Force Base
North American B-45A Tornados on the tarmac, Langley Air Force Base
North American RB-45C aircraft on flight line
North American RB-45C aircraft on flight line
United States Air Force B-45C Tornado in flight
North American B-45C Tornado in flight

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