Sorin Heavy Aircraft Network

Bombers and Transport Aircraft
- the work horses of aviation -

Fighters make the movies, but bombers make the wars

A very short presentation of the Russian bombers


A very short presentation of the American most known bombers

Tupolev Tu-95 Bear

The Tupolev Tu95 Bear is a patrol aircraft which was meant to patrol in the north coast of the Soviet Union and hunt for submarines in the cold war.
Tu95 Bear had a long range, MAD (Magnetical Anomaly Detector) sensors and counterrotating propellers at its engines.
The equivalent of the Tu95 Bear was the Canadian Air Aurora aircraft, which had the same task, and still has it today.
You can see an Tu95 Bear escorted by an F4 Phantomin the article about the F4.

Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack

Tupolev Tu160 Blackjack is the Soviet response to the American B1B Lancer.
Bigger and much more powerful than the B1B, the Tu160 is a strategic bomber currently only employed by Russia (after Ukraine sold its planes back to Russia in 1999, after giving up its nuclear arsenal in 1996). It is unclear if the Blackjack is simply the Russian copy of the B1B, some say it is, some say it's not. Fact is that the Russians themselves admitted to have copied the B1B from scratch.
However, like many of the Russian planes, the Blackjack is rough and more resistent than the American bomber, while it lacks modern electronics and good maintenance in the RuAF.

The Tupolev Tu160 Blackjack is a IIIrd generation russian bomber, and it looks remarkably like the american B1B.

Tu160 Blackjack has 4 powerful jet engines and is a strategic bomber.
Since Tu160 Blackjack looks almost the same as B1B, I recommend you to see some pictures with the B1B from my B1B Lancerarticle, since the space at Geocities isn't enough for me to store more pics with Tu-160.


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The B17 is the oldest Btype bomber

The 100 Bomb Group was operational in june 1943. During the WWII, more than 12,000 B17s were built. Less than 12 still fly today, operated by maverick or groups of rich aviation enthuziasts, which fly it at airshows or display it for tourists.
The 100 Bomb Group droped more than 20,000 t of normal and incendiary bombs on Germany during the war.

B17 Flying Fortress is actually the B17 fitted with dozens of 50mm machine-guns

The 100 Bomb Group had severe loses during the campaign against German cities, like Bremen, Hamburg, etc.
However, the B17 Flying Fortress was well prepared for missions like this: 13x50mm cannons, a tail gunner, another 2 gunners in the bely of the aircraft and also a lot of other gunners were at its disposal ; also the bombardier had a 50mm machinegun, and the navigator had one as well. The tailgunner had 2x 50mm Browning machineguns.

3 bombers formed a V, 2 Vs formed a squad, 3 squads formed a group, and 3 groups formed a wing.
But usualy the bombers flew in very large formations, and 1 000 bombers took no less than 2 hours to pass over a target...
At the begining of the war, the B17 Flying Fortresses were escorted by P47 Thunderbolts, but the P47s only had enough range to reach the German border. It had to pass some time until the new fighter of the US Air Force (RAAF, in the 1940s) to enter the scene, the P-51 Mustang. The Mustang now had enough range to escort the bombers all the way to Germany, protect them while they were bombing, and also escort them back when they're finished. Besides the long range of the Mustang, that fighter also carried two or more disposable fuel tanks, called "drop tanks". Read more about it, as well as about P-51 in Romania, in the Mustang page.

Information about the B24 Liberator

From the thoundsans which were made, only 2 remain, and one of them is in an private museum owned by an American millionaire in the United States.

Information about the B-25 Mitchell

None available so far, sorry... please come back again :)

Information about the B-26 Marauder

None available so far, sorry... please come back again :)

Information about the B29 SuperFortress

B-29 SuperFortress was the massively built bomber which was widely used in World War II, especially to replace the aging B-17's.
The most famous, or for some, infamous B-29, was the one nicknamed "Enola Gay".
Enola Gay was the mother of the pilot that flew that particular B-29 in its deadly mission, to drop a nuclear bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Not many people know that Nagasaki was only a second target for the uranium bomb, the primary target had the luck to have bad weather around it, so the plane went towards the second target. Millions of people suffered for decades from that nuclear explosion, the only nuclear deliberate attack on civillians during a war (the Soviets killed over a hundred thousand civillians and soldiers of their own during the 1950's and 1960's, deliberately exposing them to nuclear blasts to... "see what happens" comment).
After the attack, the tormented pilot commited suicide.
B-29 Liberator's were also used for the bombing of the city of Ploiesti, during WWII. More than a third of the entire fuel needed by the German war machine was extracted from that single oil field, located near the city of Ploiesti, in Romania.
Romanian IAR 80, IAR 81C, Me-109E, Me-109F, Bf-109 and Fw-190 pilots managed to shut down most of them, together with their more advanced and maneuvrable escorts, P-51's, in extreme numeric inferiority conditions. Bazu Cantacuzino, one of the numerous Romanian World War II Aces as well as the fifth ace in the world (69 points) gain many of his "points" shutting down P-51's and B-29's in those days. Pictures and stories coming up soon, please visit this site again in the future :)

Information about the B-32 Dominator

Sorry, still under construction...

Information about the B35 project of strategic bomber

The XB-35 was a project developed some years ago, in the 50s. (I should rather say : some many years ago...)
The XB-35 was a flying wing bomber project that was absolutely huge.
The XB-35's First Flight was in the 25th of june, 1956.
XB-35 had an wing span of 52m, a weight of 100t and could carry no less than 10 000 lbs of payload. It was also fitted with 20 machine-guns, which is an huge firepower.
But very soon since its first flight, the Soviet Union had also maked its own nuclear warheads, so the world was now in the nuclear cold war. Because of that, US Air Force wanted immediately and long-range nuclear bomber, but the XB-35's bomb-bays were too small for an nuclear warhead at the time, so the US Air Force chosed the B-36 for the job.
You can see the B-36 Peacemaker article just beneath this text

Information about the B36 Peacemaker

The B36 was chosed by the Air Force instead of the XB35 to perform nuclear attack tasks, in the mid or late 50s.
But neither the B36 had stood in this area for a long time, because its place was soon takes by an bomber custom made to perform nuclear bombardments : the B47.


None available so far, sorry... please come back again :)

Information about the B45

Sorry, this section is still under construction... :)

Information about the Convair B47 strategic nuclear bomber

The Convair B47 Strategic Nuclear bomber was developed in the early 1950s, to forfill the US needs for an long-range nuclear strategic bomber, that could hit the Soviet Union with a nuclear warhead and come back home safely.
However, the B47 had to swip around with its belly upwards after launching the nuclear bomb, to evoit the destruction of its 4 jet engines by the shock wave of the nuclear blast.
In the 1950s there were many projects for bombers like the B47, but until today, almost none of them are around anymore.
Other examples of strategic long-range nuclear bombers are the B-36 Peacemaker, the B35, the North American AJ Vigilante, etc.

Information about the YB49 flying wing bomber

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YB49 was an experiment of the US Air Force in the late 40s to create an flying wing bomber.
The late 1940s and the 1950s were the glory period of the flying wings. In those years, RAAF, later called USAAF and later called the Confederate Air Force, but today called US Air Force, experimented all kinds of flying wing, from tailless fighters, to flying wings bombers and even flying wings airliners. But the necessary founds for this waren't available, and those projects were all canceled in the late 50s and early 60s.
YB49 was an flying wing bomber, that had 8 jet engines which gived it a speed of 800 km/h.
The YB49's first flight was in october 1947, and Max Stanley was its pilot.
The YB49 was realy the first truly Stealth aircraft in the world, due to its shape. The members of the research team would tell the Radar Operating Personnel in San Francisco area that they would pass above San Francisco at one particular location and at a given time, but they passed at another time and flew above other areas near San Francisco. The radar operators never could tell the diffrence, because the radars from San Francisco never saw them...

Information about the XB58 Hustler bomber project

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See the XB70 Valkyre article for more details

Since XB58 has the same big and rough look as XB70 and the TSR 2 project, I recommend to see some pictures with TSR 2 from my TSR2 article in this page, to get the idea, or see first the XB70 Valkyre article. I reccomend them both.
However, the B58 Hustler can reach speeds of up to Mach 2, and I am not sure that XB58 and B58 Hustler are actually the same aircraft...


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