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BOEING B-54A

Posted 7/7/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

The Boeing B-54A was a planned production version of the YB-50C. The purpose of the project was to maximize the performance of the basic B-50 design. The standard Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial engines were to be replaced by the improved R-4360 Variable Discharge Turbine (VDT) radial engines. The wing span was increased by about 20 feet, which required additional outrigger landing gear to stabilize the aircraft on the ground. The fuselage length was increased by more than 10 feet to provide the increased structural strength necessary to carry the loads imposed by the new wing. The lengthened fuselage also allowed for a larger bomb load.

Because of the extensive design changes required for the YB-50C, the planned production model was redesignated B-54A. A photo reconnaissance variant was also planned and designated RB-54A. Although the project would have maximized the performance of the basic B-50 design, newer jet powered bomber already being planned, tested and built promised much better performance than the B-54A. This resulted in the cancellation of the entire B-54 program. The YB-50C was never built and production of the B-54A and RB-54A never begin.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
YB-50C 0 B-50A modified with P&W VDT engines
B-54A 0 Production version (canceled)
RB-54A 0 Reconnaissance version (canceled)


TECHNICAL NOTES (as designed):
Armament: 14 .50-cal. machine guns and 36,000 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney R-4360-51 Variable Discharge Turbines (VDT) of 4,500 lbs. hp each
Maximum speed: 430 mph
Cruising speed: 305 mph
Range: 9,000 miles
Service ceiling: 40,000 ft.
Span: 161 ft. 2 in.
Length: 111 ft. 0 in.
Height: 32 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 230,000 lbs. (estimated maximum takeoff weight)
Serial numbers: YB-50C from B-50A: S/N 46-061 (canceled); B-54A: 49-200 to 49-206, 49-1757 to 49-1770 (all canceled); RB-54C: 49-207 to 49-229, 49-1771 to 49-1799 (all canceled)

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