Air University Review, November-December 1981

The B-58 Bomber

requiem for a welterweight

R. Cargill Hall

At the end of World War II, Theodore von Kármán advised General Henry H. Arnold that future aircraft "will move with speeds far beyond the velocity of sound." Before the war, when supersonic motion was a characteristic most often associated with artillery shells, such a declarative forecast might easily have been dismissed. But in 1945 this renowned physicist-aerodynamics possessed impeccable credentials; he shared General Arnold's confidence as chief scientific counselor of the Army Air Forces, and he spoke with commensurate authority. To be sure, many aeronautical engineers believed that an impenetrable stone wall separated the subsonic and supersonic regimes of flight, but von Kármán assured Arnold that this stone wall had now "disappeared, at least in our planning, and will disappear in actual practice if efforts are continued."

On the strength of on Kármán's recommendations, and those of other members of General Arnold's Scientific Advisory Group, the Air Force launched a vigorous and diverse program of aeronautical research and development into high speed flight. Part of that program culminated on 14 October 1947 at Muroc Dry Lake, now Edwards AFB, California, when the Bell X-1 rocket airplane with Charles Yeager at the controls shattered both the sound barrier and speculation that aerodynamic forces became infinite at Mach 1. Across the country at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohion, studies of a supersonic bomber began in earnest. This ambitions effort neatly combined the aspirations of Air Force officers who wanted a bomber second to none and the engineers' love of a technical challenge. But a singleplace, air-launched rocket projectile like the X-1 was one thing; a multiplace aircraft capable of sustained speeds approaching the muzzle velocity of a 30 caliber bullet and of functioning effectively as a strategic bomber was something else again.

When the design competition for the B-58 began in early 1952, the state of the art hardly invited the generous enthusiasm of its proponents. Digital computers had yet to displace their analog forebears. Vacuum tubes remained the electronics order of the day. At Bell Laboratories, the transistor had only just been invented. Solid state electronics was still years away. Large airframes that would not pucker up at supersonic velocities had yet to be built and flight-tested. The area rule that would permit sustained transonic flight, not to mention a useful variable sweep wing, was unknown. But engineers did appreciate that swept wings of a low aspect ratio* delayed the onset of compressibility and shock stall. They perceived correctly that improved turbojet engines could provide the power for a supersonic bomber. In October 1952, a General Dynamics proposal that combined a pencil-slim fuselage with a 60-degree sweep delta wing and four large turbojet engines won the Air Force design competition for the first supersonic bomber.

*A wing's aspect ratio is computed by dividing the span by the chord; high aspect ratio wings are long and slender, and those with low aspect ratios are short and stubby.

Bearing scant semblance to any other bomber, the proposed Hustler promised to deliver a 10,000-pound weapon over an unrefueled radius of 2500 nautical miles (nm) and to propel a three-man crew at dash speeds of Mach 2.1 for 200 nm at a combat altitude of 55,000 feet. Besides the delta wing and propulsion system, the unconventional proposal depended on a compact, high-density airframe devoid of an internal bomb bay to achieve the specified performance. The weapon itself was to be carried in a novel, jettisonable bomb and fuel pod that comprised the lower half of the fuselage. With fuel expended, both bomb and integral tankage were to be dropped on the target, lightening the aircraft much like staging a rocket for the return flight to a recovery base.

The winning proposal, however, was soon found to have two serious design flaws. First, the aircraft had to employ tricycle landing gear and the bomb pod extended the full length of the fuselage; this meant that two nose wheels were necessary--one for the pod, to be jettisoned after takeoff to save weight, and one in the fuselage nose for landing. To put it charitably, this arrangement posed serious operational difficulties. The bomb pod had to be dropped in order to land! The expected repercussions from that kind of dropped object report doubtless inflamed the imaginations of senior commanders and public affairs officers alike. Second, and even more devastating, when the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics subjected a scale model of the B-58 to free flight rocket tests at Wallops Island, Virginia, the design proved to be subsonic.

For these and other technical reasons, the B-58 progressed through a succession of revisions in design during 1953 and 1954. The final design that emerged in late 1954 featured four turbojet engines individually suspended under the wings. The bomber remained small, only 97 feet long, with a wing span of 57 feet. The leading edge of the wing was cambered and twisted to minimize loss of efficiency at the tips. The fuselage showed the influence of heavy area ruling,* and the bomb pod had been shortened and slung beneath the fuselage, permitting an integral nose wheel. Though it did not meet all the original performance requirements, this design was very fast indeed. In the late 1950s, an operational B-58 achieved sustained speeds of Mach 2.1, faster than most interceptors of the day. Many of the technical innovations that made this possible would be adopted in the design and construction of subsequent supersonic aircraft.

*The area rule, for which no theoretical explanation existed at the time, dictated that transonic speeds could not be easily exceeded unless an aircraft's total cross-sectional area changed smoothly from nose to tail. In the B-58's case, this meant that the fuselage had to be "pinched" where the cross-sectional area of the wing was greatest.

To cope with the pressures acting on the airframe at supersonic velocities, the internal structure of the B-58 was framed much like that of a ship. Transverse Duralumin spars, corrugated for strength and spaced only 11 to 15 inches apart, ran from one wing margin through the fuselage to the opposite wing. The aircraft had no chordwise ribs, only members or bulkheads to serve as attachments for the elevons, engine nacelles, and landing gear. For the outer shell, General Dynamics's engineers developed the bonded sandwich skin panel. An outgrowth of the "metal bond" skin used extensively on the B-36, this sandwich panel consisted of two very thin sheets of Duralumin or stainless steel bonded to a cellular honeycomb core composed of fiber glass or metal. These panels served as a "beam in any direction." Those with curved surfaces were set up in a jig before bonding and, after curing, could not be bent or deformed. Fastened with titanium screws, such panels covered about 90 percent of the wings and about 80 percent of the total airframe. The "metal bond" skin helped to insulate the fuel and internal components against external skin temperatures which reached 250 degrees Fahrenheit at Mach 2. It was at the same time rigid, strong, smooth, and very light. Indeed, the dry structural weight of the B-58 amounted to only 14 percent of its fully loaded gross weight, a record for bombers that has never been equaled.

This remarkably low weight fraction was the designers' primary means of allowing the B-58 to carry the fuel needed for high speed and long range; JP-4 fuel ultimately comprised more than 55 percent of the total gross weight. Bulkheads divided almost the entire airframe into separate tanks, and fuel filled the wings and most of the fuselage aft of the crew compartment. Even the bomb pod consisted largely of fuel. But if the low weight fraction permitted a large amount of fuel, it also imposed constraints: The bomber could not take off fully loaded. Restricted to a maximum weight of 163,000 pounds because by landing gear limitations, the Hustler had to be refueled in flight to reach maximum gross weight of 177,000 pounds. A computer controlled the pumping of fuel into and out of a balance tank located in the aft section of the fuselage to adjust the center of gravity for stable flight. The sealing of the fuel tanks despite airframe expansion and contraction over a wide range of temperatures and engineering the plumbing that connected the many tanks to each other and the engines were unquestioned engineering accomplishments of the first order.

The four General Electric J79-5 turbojet engines, so vital to the B-58's development, consumed fuel in prodigious quantities, particularly at supersonic velocities. Each of them produced 10,000 pounds of military thrust and 15,600 pounds of thrust with maximum afterburner at standard sea level static conditions, revolutionary figures for the mid-'50s. Each J79 featured a hydraulically actuated inlet spike that extended or retracted to match airflow velocity, keeping the conical shock wave outside the engine inlet during supersonic flight. Internally, the engine had variable position stator vanes in the first six stages of the compressor, which adjusted in pitch automatically as a function of engine speed and compressor inlet temperature, to minimize the possibility of compressor stall. An adjustable exhaust nozzle incorporated slatted vanes that opened and closed, depending on throttle, to give the most efficient thrust and specific fuel consumption.

The fuel and propulsion systems left little room for the three-man crew and avionics. Components for most avionics subsystems were located in the nose, directly in and beneath the crew compartments, and in the tail. The pilot's position resembled that of a fighter, with a control stick in place of the yoke common to bombers. The flight control system, built by the Bendix Corporation, employed a hydraulic boost system which was advanced for its time. Redundant and essentially automatic, the flight control system featured a gyro-stabilized attitude reference which could be engaged at will and moduled and constrained aircraft maneuvers in roll, yaw, and pitch. A variable "changer" continuously varied maximum of elevon deflection, preventing the pilot from commanding excessive G-forces at supersonic speeds. With its many novel features, this electro-mechanical system was complex and difficult to maintain: the redundant hydraulic systems, pressurized at 3000 psi to save weight, were prone to leaks, and the flight control system came to be termed in SAC maintenance circles, not altogether affectionately, "the bicycle shop."

Directly behind the pilot in the second station, the navigator sat before the controls and indicators of a Sperry AN/ASQ-42 bombing-navigation system. The heart of this subsystem consisted of a 1200-pound analog computer which filled the front of the station. When operating properly, the bomb-nav system, acting through the autopilot, directed the B-58 by a dead reckoning process over a great circle course to any selected destination. Other major components tied to the computer included a Doppler radar in the tail that measured true ground speed, a pressure altimeter calibrated by a radio altimeter, an astrotracker that furnished heading reference, a stable inertial platform, a high resolution search radar in the nose that pioneered the Ku band continuous wave, and an in-flight printer that provided data on time, speed, position, altitude, and the like, on punched paper tape. In the words of William Dietz of General Dynamics, the Hustler bomb-nav system comprised "one of the largest collections of vacuum tubes, and mechanical analog machinery ever conceived and fabricated by man." It remains so to this day.

From the third station the defensive systems operator advised the pilot on fuel consumption (when and how much fuel was to be transferred into which tanks) and controlled the passive and active countermeasures equipment. The active electronic countermeasures equipment, built by Sylvania, radiated signals to noise-jam enemy radars. It also included the first production track-breaking jammer, one programmed to "steal" the range gate of a hostile tracking radar and lead it away from the bomber. The active defense system also included a six-barrel 20-millimeter M-61 Gatling gun in the tail, with associated radar and fire control equipment produced by Emerson Electric of Saint Louis. This system detected and tracked on radar aircraft attacking from the rear, calculated the target position, determined the intercept path, aimed the cannon, and told the defense systems operator when to fire.

These major aircraft subsystems drew their electrical power from a single bus, supplied by three engine-driven alternators. Two redundant power packs converted the AC alternator output to DC, and provided four basic voltages for all the subsystems. While this approach unquestionably saved weight and space, it could also make for trouble--an electrical failure in one area could trigger multiple malfunctions in other subsystems. All of the B-58 avionic subsystems, according to an enthusiastic Air Force public relations brochure in 1961, contained "more than 5000 electronic tubes and transistors" and had to be considered the very latest in the state of the art. In point of fact, that declaration pronounced much of the Hustler's avionics suite obsolete. As these bombers entered the inventory in 1961-62, the United States stood on the edge of a revolution in solid state electronics.

Needless to say, the B-58's massive assemblage of electronic tubes and transistors produced a good deal of heat. To cool the electronic components and compensate for the thermal energy conducted into the airframe during flight, the B-58 had two Hamilton Standard air-conditioning systems, one serving as a backup for the other. Each had a refrigeration capacity of 18 tons. In addition to cooling, the air-conditioning system provided for dehumidification and windscreen rain removal, and for just about everything else that depended on convected air to function properly. Despite its impressive capacity, the air conditioning system could be overtaxed in certain flight regimes, at which point the cooling plant would automatically switch to restricted mode, providing refrigeration only for the aircraft avionics. Under these circumstances, the crew had to literally "sweat out" the sortie.

Two other innovations introduced on the B-58 merit attention; both involved in-flight emergencies. The first was the pilot's station: besides borrowing yellow and red warning lights on the pilot's master caution panel from fighter aircraft, Hustler had an audio warning system. In an impending emergency, the pilot would hear in his headphones one of 20 prerecorded messages in a gentle, feminine voice, softly uttering such words as "hydraulic system failure" or "nose too high." In an all-male environment it was a real attention getter--all the more so because her messages, freely translated, said: "Jack, if you fail to act immediately, you're in deep Kimshi." The second innovation was the escape capsule. Rocket sled tests at Holloman Air Force Base in the early 1950s suggested that ejection seat bailout could be accomplished at supersonic velocity without the loss of life; however, of those who attempted supersonic bailout during B-58 category testing, none survived. Therefore, General Dynamics contracted in the late 1950s with Stanley Aviation of Denver, Colorado, to develop an encapsulated seat, a contract which eventually produced a rocket-propelled escape capsule. Retrofitted on all B-58 bombers beginning in late 1962, the capsule featured quick-closing, clam-shell doors that protected the crew member against wind blast and temperature extremes. Once sealed and pressurized, the capsule ejected, stabilized, and descended by parachute with its passenger in a "shirt sleeve environment." Survival gear included a radio and rations, and a flotation system that deployed automatically on landing on water. Used within the prescribed escape limits, the capsule proved completely dependable. It did, however, make the very small crew compartments even smaller, restricting the size of the occupant. Failure to fit the capsule was understandably cause for the rejection of prospective crew members; however, it was said that if one did not exactly fit the capsule on qualifying for the program, he most surely would after the doors snapped shut.

All of these subsystems were designed, built, and integrated to make the B-58 a functioning supersonic bomber. But how well did the machine actually operate, and how was it maintained? Those who applied to fly the B-58 already possessed extensive experience in military jet aircraft and had clearly demonstrated what Tom Wolfe calls "the right stuff." The cockpit, certainly, was no place for the pilot who suffered from claustrophobia, or for one accustomed to a copilot at his elbow. Still, there was no lack of highly qualified applicants: better than 80 percent of the original SAC selectees surrendered spot promotions for the opportunity to occupy that station. Of those accepted, the command rigorously trained each candidate before he became a full-fledged member of the Mach 2 Club. All Hustler crew members shared a high esprit, rather like that of the Marines, which sometimes proved offensive to other military aviators. Indeed, the B-58 fraternity still meets periodically to tip a cup and reminisce. The crews had to be good, for the Hustler was hot even on the ground--with maximum afterburner for takeoff, it accelerated from zero to 185 knots in less than 30 seconds. Although the control "feel" was heavy, the airplane was responsive to all control movements and handled as positively in the traffic pattern as when flying at Mach 2. The B-58 was so stable and behaved so solidly in flight that one had almost intentionally to move it off heading. With the great structural integrity of the delta wing, the Hustler in turbulent weather had none of the "air springs" roll and pitch effect of flexible wing aircraft. By all accounts, the ease in handling a B-58 was unquestionably superior to that of any other contemporary SAC bomber.

Consider a typical high altitude mission: Power. . . maximum A/B; Tower, Jack Three Zero, rolling; instruments checked; 100 knots . . . airspeed checked; S1 ready now.. . looking good; 170 knots . . . rotation; 185 knots . . . airborne. Before reaching 200 feet, the brakes are applied to stop wheel rotation and the landing gear handle is moved to the "up" position. The Hustler is throttled back and climbs out at 425 knots indicated airspeed. Above 30,000 feet the flight control dampers and the center of gravity are checked, and the controls for the engine inlet spikes are placed in "automatic." Power is advanced to minimum afterburner. With all burners lit, the pilot selects maximum afterburner and advances the throttles into "overspeed." He pulls the nose up in a shallow climb. The aircraft is allowed to accelerate until the Mach meter reads 2.0 and, at about 50,000 feet, he levels off and immediately reduces power to maintain engine inlet air temperature within limits. Supersonic flight might continue for 2 hours, the time limit for afterburner operation at that altitude, but fuel capacity normally limits sustained flight at this speed to about 45 minutes. Suffice it to say that our Hustler crew can log more time at Mach 2 on one mission than the average fighter pilot will know in an entire career. Outside, one can see the zone of increased air density that marks the standing shock wave undulating before the pitot boom and engine spikes. All sound is left behind except the "white noise" of the air flowing past the crew compartment. Inside, the windshield is hot to the touch. Moving at 20 miles per minute in a cloudless sky, 10 miles above the midwest, the sensation of speed is fantastic; the one-mile section lines below go by like the slats of a picket fence. This is an experience long-remembered by the professional aviator.

The B-58 was fast; in its day, it broke 12 world speed records and won almost every major aviation award in existence: The Bendix, Harmon, Thompson, and Bleriot trophies, and on two occasions the McKay Trophy. The B-58 also crashed spectacularly, twice before horrified spectators at the Paris Air Show in 1961 and 1965. General Dynamics and the Air Force lost eight aircraft in category tests alone. Of the 116 B-58s built, in fact, 20 percent were eventually destroyed in accidents. Seeming to belie the affidavits of easy handling, this high accident rate was caused for the most part by flight characteristics peculiar to delta wing plan-forms. In order to maintain level flight with a 60-degree leading edge sweepback, the Hustler required a much higher angle of attack* than a conventional airplane, as much as 9.4 degrees at Mach 0.5 at sea level. Nor did it stall in the conventional fashion: with the nose elevated, the bomber maintained forward motion without pitching downward. Unless the pilot applied large amounts of power, the sink rate increased rapidly. At an angle of attack greater than 17 degrees, the B-58 could pitch up sharply and enter a spin. Recovery was all but impossible if the pilot applied elevon against the spin, if the center of gravity was improperly positioned, or if the spin occurred below 15,000 feet altitude.

*The angle of attack is the angular difference, usually measured in degrees, between the centerline of the airfoil and the direction of the airflow. A positive angle of attack expresses the number of degrees of upward tilt with which the wing passes through the air.

The B-58 pilot trainee soon understood why the low aspect wing best able to overcome high-speed compressibility effects possessed these and other undesirable low-speed characteristics. The delta wing sported no flaps, slats, or spoilers. To land the bomber, the elevons were not lowered, but raised. With the nose pitched up for landing at 12.5 degrees, and power increased to check the high sink rate, the entire wing impinging on the airstream acted as a huge flap. Below 200 feet the pilot could no longer see the runway and had only his instruments and peripheral vision to guide him. The airplane also landed hot, coming in over the fence weighing 75,000 pounds at 190 knots and touching down at 3 miles a minute. Whatever the weather conditions, little time was available to compensate for a landing too short, too long, or off to either side of the runway. Small wonder this airplane came to be termed "the flying manhole cover" and "the lead sled." In capable, skilled hands the B-58 performed admirably. Slighted or taken for granted, the bomber could be grievously unforgiving.

If the Hustler realized a jet pilot's dream of high speed flight in the air, it was a maintenance man's nightmare on the ground. The high density airframe afforded personnel little room in which to move and work, and much of the aircraft equipment was buried. For example, a frequently removed part of the nose radar could be reached only after hoisting the ejection capsule out of the cockpit; to apply power to check the radar, the capsule had to be reinstalled. If a problem surfaced, the entire sequence had to be repeated. Adding to the difficulties, the B-58 airframe was stressed, and mechanics had to jig the aircraft to remove a panel from the fuselage or wing. The bomber could not be moved again until the panel had been replaced. The complex avionics subsystems also called for numerous, specialized test equipments. Some 40 pieces of equipment were employed just to tune the bomb-nav system. Finally, the bomb pod beneath the fuselage served as a fuel tank. That meant one had to defuel the aircraft in order to load the weapon. Once the bomber was emptied of fuel, maintenance personnel suspended an 8000-pound weight from the nose before they dropped the pod. If this unusual weapon loading procedure was overlooked, the airplane would tip back on its tail. Such novel requirements hardly endeared the Hustler to SAC maintenance officials or operations officers.

The B-58 exists today as a museum piece, an exotic engineering response to a set of operational requirements specified in the early 1950s. It was designed and built expressly as an engine of delivery for nuclear weapons and to penetrate enemy territory and strike from high altitudes at high subsonic and supersonic dash speeds. The technical innovations that made this possible also made for specialized and highly integrated subsystems, and a bomber with little versatility. Without a bomb bay and with a very dense airframe of limited volume, the B-58 could not be used effectively in Southeast Asia, or in any other limited war for that matter. Worse for SAC, other advances in technology radically altered the antiair defenses that the B-58 was expected to challenge. In the early 1960s, nuclear-tipped air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles appeared to preclude penetration of enemy airspace at high altitude, and the Hustler was conscripted to fly a low level, subsonic mission in wartime.

The new mission profile harnessed Pegasus to a plow. At an assigned altitude of 500 feet, the B-58 had to be flown at subsonic velocities or risk elevon reversal and loss of control. When the bomber was operated at sea level cruise speeds of .85 to .91 Mach, airframe fatigue increased dramatically. Moreover, the Hustler contained no terrain following or terrain avoidance equipment, and its altimeter did not function accurately below 750 feet. Thus, pilots had to fly visual reference to the ground with flash curtains open. Clear weather largely governed such tactics. Though the Air Force considered extensive modifications to permit effective low level penetration, the costs were judged to be prohibitive. For all intents and purposes, the Hustler was obsolete when the last one rolled off the assembly line in 1962.

Costs affected the B-58 adversely, from the cradle to the grave. Not only did the projected costs of modifications preclude improvements in low level performance, the original cost to procure this bomber was much greater than that of its predecessors. The program unit cost of the B-58 was $33.5 million inconstant 1967 dollars, compared to $9 million for the B-52 and $3 million for the B-47. Once the aircraft entered the inventory, SAC found the cost of maintaining and operating two B-58 wings equaled that of six wings of B-52s. High costs and a flawed operational potential made the B-58 expendable. When the Strategic Air Command faced a choice of inactivating six wings of subsonic B-52s or two wings of supersonic B-58s in the late 1960s, there was really no choice at all. Consigned to the boneyard, the last B-58 landed in the Arizona desert at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on 16 January 1970. Placed at first in protective storage, the sleek supersonic bombers were soon ordered stripped of their engines and other usable parts. A few years later, as the Air Force intensified efforts to acquire the B-1 supersonic bomber, the B-58s were sold at auction and broken up for scrap.

In terms of accelerating a large mass to supersonic velocities, the Hustler clearly pioneered aeronautical technology. The bonded honeycomb sandwich panel represented the first major departure from monocoque riveted metal construction techniques of the 1930s, and led eventually to investigations of nonmetalic composite structural methods. The adjustable inlet spike and variable stators of the B-58's J79 engines are features still found in most supersonic turbojet engine installations. But the unconventional bomb pod, the high-density airframe, and other innovative compromises needed to achieve the original point design, ensured serious maintenance and operational difficulties for the Hustler. These same aeronautical innovations prefigured early retirement of the B-58 from the strategic weapons inventory.

Albert F. Simpson Historical
Research Center

Editor's note: This article has been adapted from a history lecture presented by Mr. Hall at the AIAA 19th Aerospace Sciences meeting in Saint Louis, Missouri, on l4 January 1981. The author is indebted to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas D. Pilsch, USAF (Hq MAC/XPQA), for counsel on B-58 aeronautical design and engineering; to Colonel Bruce T. Caldwell, USAF (Hq SAC/DOT) and his "fellow B-58 drivers" for their reflections on flight characteristics and performance; and to General Paul K. Carlton, USAF (Ret), for his view of B-58 operations and maintenance in the 305th Bombardment Wing.


Canton, P. K., General, USAF (Ret). Interview with the author, 23 September 1980.

General Dynamics, Fort Worth Division. Brochure, "USAF B-58 Hustler," ca. 1960.

Hall, R. Cargill. "To Acquire Strategic Bombers: The Case of the B-58 Hustler. "Air University Review, September-October 1980.

Hirsch, Henry R., Lieutenant Colonel, USAF "The B-58." Air University Review, September-October 1964.

Johnson, James K., Colonel, USAF. "The Hustling Hustler." Combat Crew, June 1960.

Kardong, Abe, Major, USAF. "A Date with the Hustler." Combat Crew, March 1967.

Miller, Jay. "History of the Hustler." Airpower, July 1976.

Perry, Robert L. "Military Aviation, 1908-1976," in E. M. Emme, editor. Two Hundred Years of Flight in America, A Bicentennial Survey. AAS History Series, vol. 1, San Diego, California: Univelt, 1977.

Robinson, Douglas H. The B-58 Hitler. New York: Arco Publishing Company, 1967.

Solomon, Howard N., Captain, USAF. "First Impressions of a Hustler Driver." Combat Crew, November 1963.

USAF Public Affairs. "B-58 Information." Release for news media, ca. 1961.

von Kármán, Theodore. Where We Stand A Report Prepared for the AAF Scientific Advisory Group (August 1945) Dayton, Ohio: Hq Air Materiel Command, Wright Field, 1946.


R. Cargill Hall (B.A., Whitman College; M.A., California State University, San Jose) is Chief, Research Division, at the Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Formerly Deputy Command Historian, Hq Military Airlift Command, and Historian, Hq Strategic Air Command, Mr. Hall is the author of Lunar Impact: A History of Project Ranger and numerous articles on the history of aeronautics and astronautics.


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

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