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The Martin XB-48 was a prototype jet bomber built to compete for a spot as the U.S.’s first operational jet bomber. It followed on the footsteps of the Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster, and was a much larger and more advanced design. It was powered by six General Electric J47 engines, required due to the low thrust output of the early designs. Interestingly, although it appears that the engines are in three separate nacelles, they are actually connected by a series of air ducts incorporating airflow between the engines as well as through the inlets. This was designed to improve cooling, something that the early engines had trouble with.
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- Class: aircraft
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The Class of ‘45
The XB-48 was part of the Class of '45, a trio of jet bombers developed in 1945 in response to Germany’s Amerika Bomber program and a similar program in Japan. Both programs were looking for long-range jet bombers capable of intercontinental sorties. The other planes in the class were the Convair XB-46 and the North American XB-45, the latter of which was produced as the B-45 Tornado. However, all three planes were rapidly outclassed by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet. This is mainly because the three planes borrowed heavily from research on straight-winged piston bombers in WWII. For example, the XB-48 borrows heavily from the Martin B-26 Marauder
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