One of them, the Convair B Hustler, looks radical even today. With its long, slender fuselage, dramatically swept delta wing, and four big engines, the B looked fast even when it was on the ground. It was one of the first aircraft to take advantage of the knowledge that the way to overcome drag in supersonic flight is to sweep the wings at such an angle that the aircraft flies within the Mach cone, a three-dimensional bow wave formed around a body moving through the air at supersonic speed. When the wings are within that cone, the airflow over them remains subsonic. So successful were the Convair aerodynamicists at managing supersonic flight that on October 15, , the first production Hustler flew faster than Mach 2 for more than an hour.
Historical Marker in McKinney remembers the tragic crash of an Air Force B Hustler bomber on December 12, , which killed its three-member crew. During the s and s, the United States participated in conflicts in Korea and Vietnam in an effort to stem the growth of communism. This era also saw a terrific advancement in weapons technology. One product of the U.
January 12, 1961: B-58 Hustler Sets New Official World Speed Record
The Convair B Hustler , designed and produced by American aircraft manufacturer Convair , was the first operational bomber capable of Mach 2 flight. To achieve the high speeds desired, Convair adapted the delta wing used by contemporary fighters such as the Convair F The bomber was powered by four General Electric J79 engines in underwing pods. Later, four external hardpoints were added, enabling it to carry up to five weapons. Designed to replace the Boeing B Stratojet strategic bomber, the B became notorious for its sonic boom heard on the ground by the public as it passed overhead in supersonic flight.
In the late s, fighter aircraft designers faced the problem of reliably and safely achieving flight beyond the speed of sound. There were many approaches to this vexing aerodynamic problem, which involved the entire airframe design. In the United States, a wide-variety of wing plan-forms appeared as part of the solution.