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B-58 Hustler

B-58 Hustler Sentinal DVD Review First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2009 Title B-58 Hustler
Publisher rocket.aero Published 2009
Format DVD MSRP (USD) $19.95

First Look

B-58 Hustler

One of the most impressive bombers to come out of the cold war was Convair's B-58 Hustler. The aircraft was the world's first operational supersonic bomber and was powered by four J79 afterburning turbojets, essentially four F-104s bolted to the wings. The B-58 did not have an internal bomb bay, indeed every cubic inch of room available inside the B-58's airframe was crew systems, avionics, or fuel. Carriage of the (then) large nuclear weapons was external to the airframe with a novel system of carrying the main weapon on the centerline pylon and attaching a fuel tank around the weapon.

B-58 HustlerThe B-58 could sustain Mach 2 for ingress to a target and egress just a wee bit faster coming back out. While the B-58 remained at the forefront of strategic defense for nearly a decade, advances in Soviet air defense systems forced SAC to resort to low-level penetration tactics to slip past enemy air defenses. The B-58 was optimized for high altitude flight and its 3000 mile range dropped drastically as the J79s consumed fuel at much higher rates at low altitude.

While there have been some good reference books published on the B-58, there is still nothing better than watching the aircraft in action. rocket.aero has once again raided the aviation archives and unearthed these interesting films of the aircraft in various stages of flight test and even a promotional video.

Some of the interesting footage shows an XF-92 flying chase with the B-58 on its first flights. Some of the movie sequences document the B-58 departing and recovering at Kirtland AFB (Sandia Base) during its weapons separation tests and like the image below where the aircraft is departing, the recovering aircraft is missing the centerline store.

I am very happy to see someone compiling the shelves full of archive videos from this test program as well as other programs of note. These are very interesting historical videos with details also of good use to modelers! You can order this video directly from rocket.aero by visiting their website at www.rocket.aero

My sincere thanks to rocket.aero for this review sample!

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