B-47 NNSA-NSO-990

The Boeing B-47 Stratojet was a long range, six-engine, turbojet-powered strategic bomber designed to fly at high subsonic speed and at high altitude to avoid enemy interceptor aircraft. The B-47's primary mission was to drop nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. With its engines carried in nacelles under the swept wing, the B-47 was a major innovation in post-World War II combat jet design, and contributed to the development of modern jet airliners.

The B-47 entered service with the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command (SAC) in 1951. It never saw combat as a bomber, but was a mainstay of SAC's bomber strength during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and remained in use as a bomber until 1965. It was also adapted to a number of other missions, including photographic reconnaissance, electronic intelligence and weather reconnaissance, remaining in service as a reconnaissance aircraft until 1969 and as a testbed until 1977.

B-47 Stratojet in The Hot WarEdit

On March 4, 1951, Ihor Shevchenko went for a walk outside his kolkohz since his wife was ill. While outside, he first heard the sound of air-raid sirens from the direction of Kiev, then screams of jet fighters taking off and quickly climbing, and finally a faint and distant roar of a high altitude jet. Moments later, Kiev was destroyed by an atomic bomb.[1]

In April, Bill Staley's B-29 was part of a massive bombing raid on Pyongyang in North Korea. The reports of attacking La-11s made him reflect on the obsolescence of propeller aircraft except in secondary theaters like Korea. Not only fighters but bombers like his B-29 were being replaced by all jet B-47s although the Air Force had so many older models from World War II that it was still cost-effective for them to use them up along with their crews rather than immediately upgrade.[2]


  1. Bombs Away, pgs. 163-164, HC.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 287-288.