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Posted 6/26/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
Convair RB-36H
Convair RB-36H in flight. Note the dual radomes on the tail turret, a characteristic of the H and J model's improved AN/APG-41A fire control radar system. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The RB-36H was the strategic reconnaissance version of the B-36H. The USAF ordered 73 aircraft. The aircraft had performance similar to the RB-36F and incorporated most of the design improvements of the standard H model. By the mid-1950s, the reconnaissance role was greatly reduced for the RB-36 aircraft, so these aircraft were used primarily as bombers.

Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., is named for Brig. Gen. Richard E. Ellsworth, who was killed in the crash of an RB-36H (S/N 51-13721) on March 18, 1953, along with 22 others.

Type Number built/
RB-36H 73 Photo recon version of B-36H

Armament: 16 20mm cannons in eight remotely controlled power turrets, plus approx. 50,000 lbs. of bombs; Featherweight III conversions had two 20mm cannons in the tail only
Engines: Six Pratt & Whitney R-4360-53 radials of 3,800 hp each (takeoff power) and four General Electric J47-GE-19 turbojets of 5,200 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: Approx. 420 mph
Cruising speed: Approx. 225 mph
Range: Approx. 8,000 miles
Service ceiling: Approx. 50,000 ft. (maximum for reconnaissance missions)
Span: 230 ft. 0 in.
Length: 162 ft. 1 in.
Height: 46 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 357,500 lbs. (maximum gross weight)
Crew: 19 for Featherweight III; 22 otherwise 
Serial numbers: 50-1103 to 50-1110; 51-5743 to 51-5756; 51-13717 to 51-13741; 52-1367 to 52-1392
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