B-47 Stratojet
Sponsored by Bill & Kathy Esping & Family


Aircraft Type: B-47E, S/N 52-1412, Stratojet, Boeing (Douglas)

Mission: Medium Bomber

Number Built : The Air Force accepted a grand total of 2,041 B-47s (including the first 2 experimental planes and the prototype of a never-produced configuration). Specifically, the B-47 program was comprised of 2 XB-47s, 10 B-47As (mostly used for testing), 397 B-47B s, 1 YB-47C, 1,341 B-47Es, 255 RB-47Es, and 35 RB-47Hs. All other B-47s in the Air Force operational inventory, be they weather reconnaissance aircraft (WB-47Es), ETB-47E combat crew trainer, QB-47 drones, or others, were acquired through post-production reconfiguration.

Powerplant: Six General Electric J47-GE-25A single-shaft turbojets, 7,200 lbs. of thrust each.

Weight: Empty 78,200 lbs., Loaded 175,000 lbs., Maximum takeoff weight 202,000 lbs.

Dimensions: Wingspan 116′, Length 109’10″, Height 27’11″.

Performance: Maximum speed 650 MPH at 20,000 feet, Cruising speed 495 MPH, Service ceiling 42,000 feet.

Significance of Type

The Boeing B-47 Stratojet was the first swept-wing, jet-propelled bomber produced in large numbers. It was in many respects a revolutionary aircraft. Bill Gunston, a leading aviation writer, has observed that the B-47 was “design so advanced technically as to appear genuinely futuristic.” In addition to its high speed and sleek configuration, the B-47 was highly automated. This permitted a reduction in crew from 11 men in a B-50 (of roughly the same gross weight) to only three men, and the deletion of all gun armament except for a remotely controlled tail turret. Speed and defensive electronics permitted the elimination of the large number of guns found in earlier bombers.

The U.S. Army Air Force issued its first requirement for a jet bomber late in 1943. Boeing initiated several designs, with post-war examination of German aircraft data indicating the advantages of the swept-wing configuration. Subsequently, Boeing developed a design with thin, laminar-flow wings swept back 35 degrees, with six turbojet engines mounted in twin and single pods beneath the wings. These were supplemented with provisions for solid-fuel rockets in the rear fuselage for accelerated takeoffs. The main landing gear was fitted in tandem, extending from the fuselage, with smaller wheels on outriggers extending from the wings. Between the main landing gear wells was the single bomb bay, which could accommodate a single gravity nuclear weapon or 10,000 pounds of conventional bombs (up to 22,000 pounds maximum in overload condition).

About Our B-47E, S/N 52-1412 : This B-47 was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft, Tulsa OK and delivered to the USAF on May 5, 1955. Below are the unit assignments of this aircraft:

May 1955- To 301st Bombardment (Medium) Wing (Strategic Air Command), Barksdale AFB, Louisiana

October 1957- To Lockheed Aircraft, Marietta, Georgia (for work)

February 1958- To 97th Bombardment (M) Wing (SAC), Biggs AFB, Texas

January 1959- To 384th Bombardment (M) Wing (SAC), Little Rock AFB, Arkansas

June 1961- To Lockheed Aircraft, Marietta (for work)

August 1961- To 321st Bombardment (M) Wing (SAC), McCoy AFB, Florida

October 1961- To 4047th Strategic Wing (SAC), McCoy AFB, Florida

November 1961- To 70th Bombardment Wing (SAC), Little Rock AFB, Arkansas

June 1962- To 301st Bombardment Wing (SAC), Lockbourne AFB, Ohio (to EB-47E)

March 1964- To 3902nd Air Base Wing (SAC), Offutt AFB, Nebraska

June 1964- Dropped from inventory by transfer to the Strategic Air & Space Museum