By Meyers K. Jacobsen
Convair B-36: A finished background of Americas significant Stick is a collaborative attempt edited and co-authored via Meyers Jacobsen exploring the heritage of 1 of SACs air giants, the six-engine Convair B-36. From the origins of using six engines on
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Extra info for Convair B-36: A Comprehensive History of Americas Big Stick (Schiffer Military History)
Dillon, meanwhile, had served in the USAAF during World War II, and had returned from combat in the North Africa theater for a brief stint at Wright Field before being sent to Wichita with three other USAAF pilots to begin the development flight testing program for the B-29. Development flights related to armament and gunnery were controlled from Marietta, but were performed at Eglin Field and Boca Raton, Florida. The group also assumed responsibility for initial flight acceptance tests of B-29s coming off the lines at Wichita, Renton, Omaha and Marietta.
However, an estimated 12 mph was recovered due to the airplane not being as aerodynamically clean as it should have been during those test flights, plus the main landing gear doors not being installed. The XB-36 was rated with a top speed of 315 mph. The first of the production-type R-4360-25 engines was delivered in August 1945, to be used for the ground engine tests. Dalton Suggs began testing almost immediately, and continued in the nacelle test stand outside the Convair Experimental Building through the next year, performing service life and functional checks on practically every part of the engine.
Along with the tremendous responsibility on Erickson for the crew's safety and for the XB-36 prototype, perhaps even the future of the entire B-36 program now hung in the balance of an extremely dangerous situation. Erickson continued his climb upward and leveled off at 10,000 feet. Believing that only the drag strut had failed, Dillon went aft to inspect the damage, but he soon realized that it was much more serious. He returned to the cockpit to tell the pilot and co-pilot what he'd seen, and Erickson went back to view the situation for himself while Dillon took the controls.