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Posted 7/8/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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Convair B-58A Hustler
Convair B-58A Hustler in flight (S/N 59-2442). Photo taken on June 29, 1967. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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[From T.O. 1B-58A-1, 1962 version]

The B-58A is a high-altitude supersonic bomber manufactured by General Dynamics/Fort Worth, a Division of General Dynamics Corporation. The airplane is designed to carry externally attached weapons. The tactical mission is the destruction of surface objectives by bombs.

The flight crew consists of a pilot, a navigator, and a defensive systems operator. The navigator located at the second crew station performs the duties of navigator and operates the bombing equipment. The defensive systems operator at the third crew station operates the defensive ECM equipment and the remote controlled tail turret and performs the duties of a performance engineer.

The airplane fuselage is area-rule designed and for the greatest part is covered with a bonded, beaded skin. The wing is a full cantilever, midwing, modified delta design with a cambered leading edge and a bonded honeycomb skin. The three-man crew sits in tandem in separate compartments. Entrance to their positions is made through individual power actuated canopies. An air conditioning system maintains proper temperature, ventilation, and pressurization at all speeds and altitudes for crew compartments and temperature limited equipment. The crew is also provided with a liquid oxygen system. Electrical power for the airplane is supplied through a two-bus a-c distribution system by three ac generators which are driven by engines 1, 2, and 3 through constant speed drive units. A portion of the ac power is rectified to multiple voltages for d-c operated equipment; a 28-volt battery provides a limited source of dc power for operation during extreme emergencies. The tricycle landing gear, brakes, nose wheel steering, tail turret, autopilot servos, search radar, air refueling door, chaff dispenser drive, and flight control system are actuated by a dual hydraulic system. The flight control surfaces consist of two elevons and a rudder. The airplane is not equipped with flaps. The flight control system has provisions for automatic flight control throughout the flight mission (except for takeoff and landing). A pneumatic system provides for emergency operation of the landing gear and brakes. Normal actuation of the canopies, the drag chute, and the chaff dispensing system is accomplished by separate pneumatic systems. Offensive armament consists of bombing equipment. Defensive armament consists of defensive ECM equipment and a remote controlled tail turret equipped with a multi-barrel 20-mm cannon.

The museum has a B-58 on display in the Cold War Gallery.

Type Number built/
B-58A 86 Production bomber

Armament: One 20mm cannon in tail; nuclear weapons in pod or on under-wing pylons
Engines: Four General Electric J79-GE-5A or -5B turbojets of 15,600 lbs. thrust each with afterburner
Maximum speed: 1,325 mph
Cruising speed: 610 mph
Range: 4,400 miles maximum ferry range
Service ceiling: 64,800 ft.
Span: 56 ft. 10 in.
Wing Area: 1542 sq. ft.
Length: 96 ft. 9 in.
Height: 29 ft. 11 in.
Tread: 13 ft. 4 in.
Wing leading edge sweepback: 60 degrees
Weight: 163,000 lbs. maximum
Crew: Three (pilot, navigator, defensive systems operator)
Serial numbers: 59-2428 to 59-2463; 60-1110 to 60-1129; 61-2051 to 61-2080 (YB-58A brought up to B-58A standards: 58-1009 to 58-1011; 58-1013 to 58-1016; 58-1018, 58-1019 and 58-1021 [58-1012, 58-1017 and 58-1020 all destroyed in crashes between 1959 and 1961])

Click on the following links to learn more about the B-58A.

B-58A Pilot's Station
B-58A Navigator's Station
B-58A Defensive System Operator's Station

Click here to return to the Bomber Aircraft index.

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