Featured Links


Plan Your Visit
E-newsletter Sign-up
Explore Museum Exhibits
Browse Photos
Visit Press Room
Become a Volunteer
Air Force Museum Foundation

North American B-45C Tornado


The B-45 achieved many "firsts." It was the first American four-engine jet bomber to fly; the first American production jet bomber; the first jet bomber capable of carrying an atomic bomb; and the first multi-jet reconnaissance aircraft to refuel in mid-air.

Design of the Tornado began during World War II, and the B-45 made its first flight in March 1947. North American built 142 B-45s, including 10 long-range B-45Cs with wingtip fuel tanks and 33 RB-45Cs configured for high-altitude photo reconnaissance and aerial refueling.

Based at RAF Sculthorpe, England, from 1952-1958, B-45s of the 47th Bomb Wing (Light) were a key nuclear deterrent against a Soviet ground attack in Europe. Also flying from RAF Sculthorpe were USAF RB-45Cs from the USAF 19th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and Royal Air Force (RAF) Special Duty Flight crews. These RAF RB-45 crews flew highly classified reconnaissance missions deep into communist territory.

The aircraft on display was returned to the USAF by Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division, where it had been on loan for engine testing. Flown to the museum in 1971, it is painted in the markings of the 47th Bomb Wing (Light).

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament:
Two .50-cal. machine guns in the tail and 22,000 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Four General Electric J47s of 6,000 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: 570 mph
Range: 1,000 miles
Ceiling: 37,550 ft.
Span: 89 ft.
Length: 75 ft. 4 in.
Height: 25 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 110,000 lbs. maximum 
Serial number: 48-0010

Click here to return to the Korean War Gallery.

 

Find Out More
Line
Related Fact Sheets
General Electric J47 Turbojet Engine
Line
360-degree Virtual Tour
View the B-45C on Display
Line
Cockpit360 Images
View the B-45C Pilot Station
View the B-45C Copilot Station
Line
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.