Convair B-36 Peacemaker
     The B-36 was the largest American bomber every produced.   Its 230 foot wingspan was almost fifty percent longer than that of the huge B-52 that replaced it.  During its eight years of service, it one of one of America's major deterrents to aggression by a potential enemy.  It was  "keeping the peace."  Its is famous for "never having fired a shot in anger."
     Development of the huge plane began in 1941 when it appear that Great Britain would soon fall to Nazi Germany. The Army Air Force wanted a bomber that could fly from the United States to Europe, drop bombs, then return (combat radius)  The prototype first flew on  August 8, 1946. The first operational models were delivered to the Strategic Air Command 1948.  There were many problems with them and the fleet was not fully operational until 1951. 
      The Peacemaker achieved its design objective.  Its combat radius  with a 10,000-pound payload (one small nuclear bomb)  was 3,740 nautical miles.  With its maximum of bomb load of 86,000 pounds, (conventional bombs), its combat radius decreased to 1,757 nautical miles.  
     Each B-36 cost $3.6 million.  A total of 388 aircraft were produced.  The last one was built in August of 1954.  On 29 June 1955 the first B-52 was delivered to SAC. All of the B-36s were delivered as or converted to "J" models, which had two jet engines added to each wing.  (This was essentially the inboard engine nacelle from the B-47). The all-jet bomber soon took over the Peacemaker's duties. The last B-36 was retired in 1959. 
See the display models of the B-36 at