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The Convair YB-36 was the second aircraft put on contract, and the only service test model built. The YB-36 featured the raised dome cockpit canopy which would become standard on all production B-36s. Like the XB-36, the YB-36 was initially fitted with the large single-wheel main landing gear. The production aircraft four-wheel main landing gear struts were retrofitted to the aircraft during testing.
The YB-36 was essentially built to B-36A specifications, and since its purpose was primarily for testing flight characteristics, no defensive armament was installed. The first flight of the YB-36 was on Dec. 4, 1947, six months after the initial flight of a B-36A (Aug. 28, 1947).
||Service test pre-production aircraft
Armament: Designed for 10 .50-cal. machine guns and five 37mm cannon plus 72,000 lbs. of bombs (no defensive armament was actually installed)
Engines: Six Pratt & Whitney R-4360-25 radials of 3,000 hp each (takeoff power)
Maximum speed: 345 mph at 32,000 ft.
Cruising speed: 202 mph
Range: 3,380 miles with 10,000 lbs. bomb load (estimated combat radius); 9,136-mile ferry range
Service ceiling: 39,100 ft.
Span: 230 ft. 0 in.
Length: 162 ft. 1 in.
Height: 46 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 310,380 lbs. (maximum gross weight)
Serial number: 42-13571
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