B-36 - Pima Air & Space Museum - Arizona Bucket List Trip 2017
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Known as the "Peacemaker", it must've worked, since it never entered combat and dropped a bomb.
Its piston and jet engines were referred to as "Six Turnin' and Four Burnin'".
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Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson
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B-36 at the top center.
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I grew up in Miami in the 1950s. There was a SAC base in Homestead. The B-36s
used to fly over a lot, always already at high altitude. But the sound was unmistakable!
On one occasion, probably Memorial Day or 4th of July, there must've been a local
parade. I heard the sound, rushed outside to see 3 B-36s in formation at what looked
like 500' but was probably 2,000'.
Then in about 1980 a buddy of mine, fellow pilot and French Connection aerobatic
student Jeff flew us in a C-177 to the Dayton Airshow to see the French Connection.
Before heading home we'd planned to visit the Air Force Museum where I'd dreamed
for 30 years of seeing the B-36. But that morning, the weather was closing in and
Jeff made the correct decision to takeoff ahead of the weather. As we ascended
above the scattered cloud layer, there was an opening through which, for about
5 seconds, I was able to see the museum below exactly where the Peacemaker resided!
In 2017, my buddy Jim Davis, FAA DER and fellow Clemson grad, invited me to
fly from NY to Arizona for a bucket-list trip. When he asked me what I'd like to see in
Tucson, I said maybe the Pima Air Museum that I'd seen in 2000. A few days later
when Air & Space magazine arrived, I was really sure - There was an article about
high-altitude aerial photography with a 2-page spread of Pima. I was looking at it,
remembering each a/c we saw years before, and lo-and-behold there's now a B-36!
(lower right in the link below.)
So the dream came true!
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The B-36 is featured in this movie (still available) with at least 20 minutes of beautiful official footage. You can hear its unique, unmistakable sound.
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It took 3½ minutes to walk around with the GoPro. I sped it up and smoothed it out.
(Select Next to bypass the video.)
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See me?
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Former Convair B-36 Peacemaker crew member Bob Preising recounts his experiences with the aircraft at Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, with the last B-36 built and the last to fly, 52-2827 "City of Ft. Worth". October 24, 2016. Bob is a member of the Phoenix Wing of the American Aviation Historical Society. facebook.com/aahsphoenix/
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The End