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CONVAIR B-58C

Posted 7/8/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

The B-58C, or BJ-58, was proposed as an enlarged version of the B-58A to be powered by Pratt & Whitney J58 turbojet engines. The 32,500-thrust J58 was the same engine used on the Lockheed SR-71. Design studies were conducted with two and four engine designs.

The C model had an estimated top speed approaching Mach 3, a supersonic cruise capability of approximately Mach 2, and a service ceiling of about 70,000 feet. Convair estimated maximum range at 5,200 nautical miles, but the USAF disputed this figure as a gross exaggeration.

The B-58C was proposed as a lower cost alternative to the North American XB-70 or as a medium bomber to fill the gap between the XB-70 and the XF-108 Rapier Mach 3 fighter (proposal). The C model would have been capable of carrying a more varied assortment of weapons, including conventional bombs.

As enemy defenses against high-speed, high-altitude penetration bombers improved, the value of the B-58C diminished and the program was canceled in early 1961.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
B-58C 0 J58-powered variant; not built


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