This is a rare and unusual photograph that depicts a Boeing RB - 47 Stratojet flying over Alaska in August 1960.
Today, we offer for sale this photograph that depicts a Boeing RB - 47 Stratojet ( U.S.A.F. ). On the back, there are two stamps ( in English and in Italian ) and some handwritten notes in Italian as well. Here are the informations mentioned in the English stamp :
U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO
HQ. STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND
Photo No. A47 - 6
According to the handwritten notes ( partially " decyphered " ), the aircraft was, apparently, on a flight over Alaska, in an area including Cape Lisburne Air Force Station ( northwest point of the Lisburne Peninsula on the Chukchi Sea coast ) and Point Barrow ( Nuvuk, the northernmost point of all the territory of the United States ) in August 1960.
A little History :
The B - 47 arose from an informal 1943 requirement for a jet - powered reconnaissance bomber, drawn up by the United States Army Air Forces ( U.S.A.A.F. ) to prompt manufacturers to start research into jet bombers. Boeing was among several companies to respond to the request ; one of its designs, the Model 424, was basically a scaled - down version of the piston - engined B - 29 Superfortress equipped with four jet engines.
In December 1944, North American Aviation, Convair, Boeing and the Glenn Martin Company submitted proposals for the new long-range jet bomber. The U.S.A.A.F. awarded study contracts to all four companies, requiring that North American and Convair concentrate on four - engined designs, while Boeing and Martin were to build six - engined aircraft.
In May 1945, the von Kármán Mission of the Army Air Forces inspected the secret German aeronautics laboratory near Braunschweig ( present - day Lower Saxony, Germany ). The team included the Chief of the Technical Staff at Boeing, George S. Schairer ( 1913 - 2004 ). He had heard about the controversial swept - wing theory of Robert T. Jones ( 1910 - 1999 ) at Langley ( Virginia, United States ), but seeing German models of swept - wing aircraft and extensive supersonic wind - tunnel data, the concept was decisively confirmed. Boeing's aeronautical engineers modified the Model 432 with swept wings and tail to produce the Model 448, which was presented to the U.S.A.A.F. in September 1945.
Further modifications led to the Model 450. Pleased with the refined design, in April 1946, the U.S.A.A.F. ordered two prototypes, to be designated " XB - 47 ". Assembly began in June 1947. The first XB - 47 was rolled out on September 12th, 1947. six days before the U.S.A.A.F. became a separate service, the United States Air Force ( U.S.A.F. ).
The first XB - 47 prototype ( 46 - 065 ) flew its first flight on December 17th, 1947, with Test Pilots Robert M. " Bob " Robbins ( 1916 - 2005 ) and Edward Scott Osler ( 1918 - 1949 ) at the controls. It lasted 27 minutes, flying from Boeing Field ( Seattle ) to Moses Lake Airfield ( both located in Washington state, United States ). The second XB - 47 ( 46 - 066 ) prototype first flew on July 21st, 1948 and, following its delivery to the U.S.A.F. in December of that year, served as a flying test bed until 1954.
The U.S.A.F. Strategic Air Command operated multiple B - 47 models ( B - 47s, EB - 47s, RB - 47s and YRB - 47s ) from 1951 through 1965. The only B - 47s to see anything that resembled combat were the aerial reconnaissance variants. The first overflight of Soviet territory with a B - 47B, fitted with special radar and cameras in the bomb bay, occurred on October 15th, 1952, overflying Soviet airfields in Northeastern Siberia. RB - 47s operated from almost every airfield that gave them access to the U.S.S.R. and routinely probed Soviet airspace.
The final recorded flight of a B - 47 was on June 17th, 1986, when a B - 47E was restored to flightworthy condition for a one - time ferry flight. This aircraft was flown from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake to Castle Air Force Base ( both located in California, United States ) for static display at the Castle Air Museum, where it presently resides.
( sources : Wikipedia, www.nationalmuseum.af.mil, www.avweb.com, www.thisdayinaviation.com, thetartanterror.blogspot.com, archives.museumofflight.org )