B-36 Peacemaker
by Mars-Bound_Hokie
uploaded 2023-07-25
24 downloads /
3
points
SPH
stock+DLC aircraft
#b36 #usaf #bomber #cold #convair


The B-36 Peacemaker on display in the SPH.

  • I started by downloading HB_Stratos’ MK3 Custom Cockpit, then adding more fuel cells and modifying some of the fairings to look more like a B-36 cockpit. I then added another small fairing for the dome.
  • In order to maintain optimum CoM and CoL balance, I couldn’t fill up all the fuel tanks. At the same time, with each passing test run, I had to be careful deciding which tanks got fuel so I can increase my range.
  • I went with longer blades - as opposed to my favorite R-25 ducted blades - to maintain the aesthetic.
  • During one of the test runs, two of the prop engines froze without explanation. I then installed air intakes on all the engines so that they get adequate air.
  • Thanks to swjr-swis‘s advice when talking about my fuel flow problem on my Stratofortress replica a month ago, I enabled crossfeed in the pylons so that the jet engines get fuel from the main tanks.
  • The storage unit in the bottom near the nose is meant to look like a turret.
  • In the end, though the aircraft was able to take off, fly, and land in one piece, I was not pleased with the performance stats. No wonder the B-52 Stratofortress replaced it as a heavy bomber - both in Kerbin and in real life.


The Peacemaker flying over Alt Test Mountains. Surprisingly, this plane was quite maneuverable for a bomber.

  • But unlike the real-life Peacemaker, I left all ten engines on during cruise.


Undercarriage shot of the B-36 while in cruise.


Flying west during one of the B-36’s many test runs.

Real-life Counterpart Performance Stats

(B-36J Peacemaker)

Maximum Speed: 435 mph (194.5 m/s)
Cruise Speed: 230 mph (102.8 m/s)

  • The jet engines are turned off during cruise.

Service Ceiling: 45,700 feet (13.9 km)
Range: 10,000 miles (16,093 km)
Source: Air Force Museum Website

Details

  • Type: SPH
  • Class: aircraft
  • Part Count: 212
  • Pure Stock
  • KSP: 1.12.4


The grabbing unit extending with its claw open during the test flight.

  • I installed a robotic arm with a claw in the bomb bay in case I get ambitious enough to attach an XF-85 Goblin, which was originally designed to take launch from and rejoin the B-36 in real life, to this plane.
  • Then again, since the Goblin project was cancelled due to too many failed redockings with a B-29, odds are I’ll end up making the Goblin replica as a separate aircraft and leave it at that.

ARM CONTROLS

  • 4: Open/close doors
  • J / L: Change arm angle
  • I / K: Extend/retract arm
  • 6: Open/close claw
  • 7: Release grapple on claw

Description

The Convair B-36 Peacemaker was first thought of during WWII, when the U.S. Army Air Corps feared that Great Britain would fall to the German Blitzkrieg. They were aiming for a long-range bomber that could reach Europe and return to a base in North America. While they were fortunate enough to have not needed that plane while the shooting was going on, the newly-formed U.S. Air Force still needed an aircraft capable of intercontinental missions delivering first-generation nuclear bombs to Soviet targets. Though many argued that the (mostly) prop-driven B-36 was obsolete from the start, none of its rivals at the time had the range to attack the Soviet homeland from North America without aerial refueling and couldn’t carry the Mark 16 hydrogen bomb. Until the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress became operational in 1955, the B-36 continued to be America’s primary nuclear weapons delivery vehicle.
The slogan “Six turning, four burning,” is a reference to its unique design of having six prop engines and four jet engines, giving more engines than any other mass-produced aircraft. All ten engines were used during takeoff – and for dashing over targets – but the jets were shut off while cruising to conserve fuel. As for weaponry, it could carry up to 87,200 lbs (39,600 kg) of bombs and had six remote-controlled retractable gun turrets and fixed tail and nose turrets with two 20-mm cannons each. The B-36 never actually saw combat, but it was useful as a deterrent to enemy aggression.

A stock aircraft called B-36 Peacemaker. Built with 212 of the finest parts, its root part is adapterMk3-Size2.

Built in the SPH in KSP version 1.12.4.

Takeoff Instructions

  1. Engage the brakes and turn on SAS. It doesn’t matter if you have a pilot or not.
  2. Full throttle. And yes, you will include the jet engines.
  3. Disengage brakes.
  4. Press and hold H (translate forward). It increases the propeller blade deploy angle - hence your speed.
  5. Retract gear when airborne.
  6. Keep tapping H as necessary to keep optimal blade angle (which maximizes thrust). It is recommended to tap rather than press and hold for fine-turning blade angle. Best blade angle for maximizing thrust is 45 degrees, but you do what works best for you.

Be advised that you may need to slowly lower blade angle again at some point. When that happens, translate back using N.

Propeller Controls

  • H: Translate forward (increase blade angle)
  • N: Translate backward (decrease blade angle)


Flying over a mountain range up north in the last test cruise.

Landing Advice

After you land the plane, (unless you’re all done with it) press and hold N to return the blade angles back to 0 before taking off again.


The B-36 landed at a desert with the ladders deployed.

  • Unfortunately, it was impossible for me to reach the command capsule that the crew was in through the fairings. If there were people on board the side capsules, they could have gotten in and out - although I don’t know how that would affect the control scheme since the bomber doesn’t have a probe core.

RECOMMENDED CRUISE

Altitude: 6.4 km (~21k ft; Class Alpha airspace)
Velocity: 158 m/s (~353 mph)
Blade Deployment Angle: 38 degrees
Jet Engines: ON

EXPECTED RANGE

440 km before immediate landing necessary.

  • Last test run ended up gliding nearly 30 km before touchdown.

SIX TURNIN’ AND FOUR BURNIN’

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