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B-50

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Originally the D model of the B-29, the Boeing B-50 was an improved variant of the B-29, intended for Strategic Air Command (SAC) nuclear delivery missions, as a stopgap while the B-36 and jet bombers were being developed.

In comparison with a standard B-29, the airframe was made of a stronger but lighter aluminium alloy, control surfaces and ground steering were improved, de-icing features would be added. The B-29 R-3350 reciprocating propeller engines were replaced with more powerful R-4360 engines with reversible pitch propellers.[1]

There were enhancements to the basic B-50A through H, but were stopgaps until the B-47 deployed. A few reconnaissance versions, including weather and electronic intelligence, flew into the mid-fifties. There were some exchanges of fire with Soviet fighters along their borders.[2]

Some KB-50 tanker conversions flew until a safety flaw was found in the sixties.

A B-50 successfully dropped a nuclear weapon in April 1953, at the Nevada Test Range.[3]

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