B-58 Hustler

The delta-wing Hustler was the first USAF supersonic operational bomber. The B-58 made its initial flight on Nov. 11, 1956 and flew supersonically on Dec. 30, 1956. Distinctive B-58 features included its sophisticated inertial guidance navigation and bombing system, slender "wasp-waist" fuselage, and extensive use of heat-resistant honeycomb sandwich skin panels in the wings and fuselage. The thin fuselage prevented internal carriage of bombs so an external droppable two-component pod beneath the fuselage contained extra fuel and a nuclear weapon, reconnaissance equipment, or other specialized gear. The B-58 crew consisted of a pilot, navigator-bombardier, and defense systems operator.

The USAF ordered 86 Hustlers which were operational in the Strategic Air Command between 1960 and 1970. B-58s set 19 world speed and altitude records and won five different aviation trophies.

The B-58A in the photos flew from Los Angeles to New York and returned on March 5, 1962, setting three separate speed records and earning the crew the Bendix and Mackay Trophies for 1962. (NMUSAF)

On this day the nose probe has been removed while the aircraft was being mover around.

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images.




Crew Seat and Escape Module

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