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The B-52 Competition of 1946

The B-52 Competition of 1946 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2009 Title The B-52 Competition of 1946
Editor Jared Zichek Publisher American Aerospace Archive
Published 2009 ISBN -
Format 60 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $14.95


When we had a look at American Aerospace Archive' first release covering a proposal to build a commercial version of the JRM Mars flying boat, I thought it quite interesting that they were publishing conceptual proposals that most folks would never see. The second release provided an interesting look at the proposed FJ-5, a navalized F-107.

This latest installment from American Aerospace Archive takes a look at some of the proposed designs for the 1946 B-52 Stratofortress competition. Douglas Aircraft Company developed no less than 47 different airframe configurations with combinations of straight wing, swept wing, and forward swept wing; usually four engines, but these were pure jet or turboprop; and various other features to meet the government's requirements. In the end, it was three men in a hotel room that won the contract for Boeing, two writing the proposal and one carving a wood model of their concept.

Take a look at that model of one of Douglas' designs. This bears a strong resemblance to the Tupolev Tu-95 Bear which came along a number of years later. This design even has counter-rotating propellers.

The title is very nicely illustrated with images of the actual blueprints that showed the different configurations of the proposed airframe. Some of thee designs look very futuristic while others are proven concepts from World War 2.

If you want to see some forgotten aviation history, American Aerospace Archive has really done a nice job compiling the different designs that Douglas engineers developed in their quest to capture the B-52 contract for their company.

This title is recommended!

US customers can order this title here for $14.95 plus $1.40 postage. International customers can order their copy here.

My sincere thanks to American Aerospace Archive for this review sample!