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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)

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 (SAC) from 1950 until 1959. The B-45 was assigned USAF Buzz Number "BE".

There were 3 XB-45, 96 B-45A, 10 B-45C, and 33 RB-45C recon variants built for a total of 142 aircraft. 

B-45 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 Photos

U.S. Air Force B-45C, S/N 48-0010, Buzz Number BE-010, at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force (Staff Photo)
U.S. Air Force B-45C, S/N 48-0010, Buzz Number BE-010, at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force
USAF RB-45C, S/N 48-0017, Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska (Staff Photo)
U.S. Air Force RB-45C, S/N 48-0017, Strategic Air Command and Space Museum, Ashland, Nebraska
North American Aviation RB-45C - Four Jet US Air Force Bomber - Vintage postcard
North American Aviation RB-45C - Four Jet US Air Force Bomber

 

B-45 Tornado Photographs (Courtesy of the US Air Force)

North American B-45A of the U.S. Air Force, S/N 47-057, Buzz Number BE-057
North American B-45A of the U.S. Air Force, S/N 47-057, Buzz Number BE-057
B-45A-5-NA Tornados (red tails) of the 47th Light Bomb Wing, 84th Bomb Squadron, Langley Air Force Base, Va., before transatlantic flight to Sculthorpe, England, in July 1952. Planes (nearest to farthest) had serial numbers 47-082, 47-089, 47-050, 47-061, 47-058, and 47-081
B-45A-5-NA Tornados of the 47th Light Bomb Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Va., before transatlantic flight to Sculthorpe, England, in July 1952.Planes (nearest to farthest) have serial numbers 47-082, 47-089, 47-050, 47-061, 47-058, and 47-081
USAF B-45C, S/N 48-010, Buzz Number BE-0010, at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, painted in the markings of the 47th Bomb Wing (Light), 85th Bomb Squadron (yellow tails)
USAF B-45C, S/N 48-010, Buzz Number BE-010, at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, OH
United States Air Force B-45C Tornado, S/N 48-001 in flight
United States Air Force B-45C Tornado, S/N 48-001 in flight
North American RB-45C of the U.S. Air Force, S/N 48-017, Buzz Number BE-017
North American RB-45C of the U.S. Air Force, S/N 48-017, Buzz Number BE-017
North American RB-45C, S/N 48-037, Buzz Number BE-037
North American RB-45C, S/N 48-037, Buzz Number BE-037

 

More Resources About the B-45

B-45 at John Weeks

B-45 at WikiPedia

B-45 at the 456th Fighter Interceptor Squdron

B-45 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force

B-45 Serial Numbers 1946-48 at Joe Baugher

B-45 at Boeing