US North American B45 ''Tornado'' Jet Bomber

  • Military Aircraft Of The World
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The North American B-45 “Tornado” was America’s first operational Jet Bomber. Deployed in 1948, The “Tornado” was also the first Jet Aircraft to be refueled in mid-air, rendering it capable of long range Missions without the benefit of constant landings. Although The B-45 had a rather short lived operational history (1959), it was the first Nuclear deterrent Bomber in The World. It’s design history began in 1944, with Germany’s development of The Arado 234 Jet Bomber. Worried of a superior “game changing” weapon in World War II, Germany’s collapse in 1945 still lead to it’s construction as a strategic future Bomber (made more so by the development of Nuclear weapons).  The relatively small Fleet of B-45s were deployed as a psychological weapon during The Korean War of 1950-53 (and figured into Army General Douglas MacArthur’s “plans” to attack Communist China). It was determined that The B-45 was also an excellent high-altitude Recon Aircraft, with modified variants making their appearance during the early years of The Cold War. Declassified Documents show that The B-45 may have been the first such Aircraft to operate “surveillance” Missions of The Soviet Union in the mid-1950s. It was these variants which would eventually lead to The SR-71 “Blackbird” Reconnaissance Plane. The B-45 “Tornado” was crewed by 4. It was 75-feet in length with a wingspan of 90-feet. It utilized (4) GE J47 Turbo Jet Engines capable of airspeeds of 566-mph. It operated at 46,000-feet. The B-45 carried defensive armament to include (2) .50 Caliber HB Machines and a .30 Caliber MG Tail Gun. The Bomber could carry 22,000-pounds of either conventional bombs or (2) Nuclear devices. Although Jet Bomber technological improvements quickly retire The B-45, it remained in Inventory until the early 1960s as part of The USAF Strategic Air Command.