|I want to thank some people for their contributions
to this site. So in no relevant order, here they come:
BJ Brown for all his help, Dick Dirga for his many photographs
featured in the photogallery and his personal story, Steve
Hawley for his photos of his very fine B-58 model , Thomas
E Murray for his photographs and personal story about the Hustler,
Phil Rowe for his many interesting stories about the B-58,
his useful inside information, and all the other Hustlers whose
names I haven't mentioned here. Thanks!
With its introduction in 1960 the B-58 Hustler
was the world's first supersonic bomber and had a very controversial
life right from the designing stage to operational service. The
Strategic Air Command had never really wanted the Hustler, because
of its range which was regarded as too short and the high costs
of production and maintaining the B-58 Hustler. It was designed
to fly at the speed of mach 2 and therefore could not compete with
the fuel consumption of the bigger and slower B-52. For example,
the B-58 had to refuel once to get the range the B-52D had without
refueling (7,400 miles). However, the real reason for its short
life turned out to be the cost aspect. The cost of maintaining and
operating two B-58 wings equaled that of six wings of B-52's. Therefore
the B-58 Hustler was already taken out of service in 1970 but nevertheless
had left an impressive series of records and achievements behind.
The design of the B-58 was ahead of its time and because of its
extreme capacities a select group of pilots, radar navigators and
defensive systems operators of the Strategic Air Command were able
to fly this bomber. It still looks as futuristic as it did back
in the fifties when it was designed and aesthetically few planes
have ever come close. In this site you will find info about this
remarkable bird as well as pictures and some stories.
Updated May 3, 2007:
Added two artist impressions of Thomas E. Murray: at
the ground and in
January 30, 2006:
Added three pictures to the photogallery section of Greased Lightning,
taken by Paul Thomason at Chanute AFB, Rantoul, IL.
you have useful info about the B-58 Hustler or have some photos
which you want to add to this website you can mail me.