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The Convair B-58 was the world's first supersonic bomber, and the first to reach Mach 2. The delta-winged B-58 made its initial flight on November 11, 1956.

B-58 Hustler of the United States Air ForceB-58 Hustler
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

The service ceiling was 60,000 feet, and it had a range of 4,100 miles. It set 19 world speed and altitude records, and won five different aviation trophies.

B-58 Hustler Specifications

Armament: One 20mm cannon in tail; nuclear weapons in pod or on under-wing pylons
Engines: Four General Electric J79s of 15,000 lbs. thrust each (with afterburner)
Maximum speed: 1,325 mph
Range: 4,400 miles without aerial refueling
Ceiling: 64,800 ft.
Span: 56 ft. 10 in.
Length: 96 ft. 10 in.
Height: 31 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 163,000 lbs. maximum

B-58 Survivors

Only 116 of the B-58 were built, 30 trial aircraft and 86 production B-58A models. It had an unfavorably high accident rate, with 26 B-58 aircraft being lost in accidents.

The Air Force began to retire their two B-58 Hustler wings in November of 1969 and were moved to Davis-Monthan AFB for storage. The last one was retired from service in 1970. The surviving fleet of 82 Hustlers remained in storage until 1977 when it was sold to Southwestern Alloys for scrapping.

Today, eight survive and are displayed in the United States at these locations:

  • Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson ... the last Hustler to be delivered (see photos below)
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio
  • Grisson Air Museum
  • Edwards Air Force Base in California
  • Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas
  • Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas
  • Strategic Air and Space Museum near Omaha
  • Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum

B-58 Hustler Photos Courtesy of the Author

Convair B-58A Hustler bomber S/N 61-2080 at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona
Convair B-58A Hustler bomber S/N 61-2080 at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona
Convair B-58A Hustler with the "Can Do" shield
and the markings of the 305th Bombardment Wing, Grissom AFB, Indiana, 1969
Displayed at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson
Convair B-58A Hustler with the "Can Do" shield and the markings of the 305th Bombardment Wing, Grissom AFB, Indiana, 1969
Undercarriage and engines of the Convair B-58A Hustler at the Pima Air Museum
Undercarriage and engines of the Convair B-58A Hustler at the Pima Air Museum
B-58 rocket sled on display at the Barksdale Global Power Museum in Bossier City, Louisiana
B-58 rocket sled on display at the Barksdale Global Power Museum in Bossier City, Louisiana

B-58 Hustler Photos Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

B-58 Hustler of the United States Air Force (Air Force photo)
B-58 Hustler of the United States Air Force
B-58 Hustler of the United States Air Force (Air Force photo)
B-58 Hustler of the United States Air Force
B-58 Hustler of the United States Air Force (Air Force photo)
B-58 Hustler of the United States Air Force
Convair B-58 Hustler S/N 92460 in flight (vintage postcard)
Convair B-58 Hustler S/N 92460 in flight
Convair B-58 Hustler (photo courtesy of the Museum of the US Air Force)
Convair B-58 Hustler


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