Please Don’t Crash One!

This Week’s Hints to help you along:

  • Yes, that looks a bit like a B-36, but just what makes it different?
  • The aircraft shown is in flight testing with a B-29 as a chase plane!
  • Crashing one of these would have had very, very major implications.

So do you know what this aircraft is and why was it so dangerous?




Post a REPLY below with your best guess!

Click here to check out last week’s What’s That?

6 thoughts on “Please Don’t Crash One!

  1. Paul D. Mather says:

    The depicted aircraft is a specially modified B-36, used for research and testing of an airborne nuclear reactor. The chase aircraft appears to be a B-50, NOT a B-29.

    1. HW says:

      Correct — the actual designation is a NB-36H and was called “The Crusader”. And yes, indeed, that is likely a B-50, which is very similar and derivative of the B-29, the so-called “Boeing Trimotor” (do you know why do they call it that?).

      1. Paul D. Mather says:

        I have never heard the B-29 referred to as the “Boeing Trimotor.” Please explain.

      2. martin hone says:

        Probably because they could only keep 3 of the 4 engines running at one time….

  2. Dirk Septer says:

    The original B-36 only had 6 pusher-type piston engines; later versions had 4 jet pods added, making for 10 engines. A B36-B crashed on 14Feb50 not far from where I used to live on NW British Columbia, three hours after dropping a Mk IV nuke near Prince Rupert, BC (see my recently published book “Lost Nuke-Last flight of Bomber 075” — Kindle Edition).

  3. martin hone says:

    Probably dangerous to crash due to the on-board nuclear weapons ?


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