The Convair B Hustler is the first operational jet bomber capable of Mach 2 flight. Replacing the Boeing B Stratojet medium bomber, it was originally intended to fly at high altitudes and supersonic speeds to avoid Soviet fighters. The B was notorious for its sonic boomwhich was often heard by the public as it passed overhead in supersonic flight.
The introduction of highly-accurate Soviet surface-to-air missiles forced the B into a low-level-penetration role that severely limited its range and strategic value, and it was Convair b 58a hustler employed to deliver conventional bombs.
This resulted in only a brief operational career between and when the B was succeeded by the smaller, swing-wing FBA. The proposed bomber's design and development was to begin less than two years after sustained supersonic flight had successfully been achieved.
Convair, building on its experience in earlier delta-wing fighters, beginning with the XFAa series of GEBO Convair b 58a hustler designs were developed, initially studying swept and semi-delta configurations, but settling on the delta wing planform.
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The delta planform had good internal volume for support systems and fuel. In Februarythe Air Force issued a contract for development of Convair's design. Although its large wing made for relatively low wing loadingit proved to be surprisingly well suited for low-altitude, high-speed flight.
Unlike standard ejection seats of the period, a protective clamshell would enclose the seat and the control stick with an attached oxygen cylinder, allowing the pilot to continue to fly even "turtled up" and ready for immediate egress.
The capsule was buoyant; the crewmember could open the clamshell, and use it as a life raft. Owing to heat generated at Mach 2 cruise, the crew compartment, the wheel wells and electronics bay were pressurized and air conditioned.
The B utilized one of the first extensive applications of aluminum honeycomb panelswhich bonded outer and inner aluminum skins to a honeycomb of aluminum or fiberglass.
The pilot's cockpit was rather conventional for a large multi-engine aircraft. The navigator and DSO's cockpits featured wraparound dashboards with warning lights and buttons, and automatic voice messages and warnings from a tape system were audible through the helmet sets. Research Convair b 58a hustler the era of all-male combat aircraft assignments revealed that a woman's voice was more likely to gain the attention of young men in distracting situations.
Nortronics Division of Northrop Corporation selected actress and singer Joan Elms to record the automated voice warnings.
To those flying the B, the voice was known as "Sexy Sally. The system computed aiming, velocity or heading differentialand range compensation.
Incurable difficulties with fuel leakage resulted in the replacement of the MB-1C Convair b 58a hustler the TCP Two Component Podwhich placed the nuclear weapon in an upper section while the lower fuel component could be independently jettisoned. The first prototype, serial Convair b 58a hustlerwas completed in late August From tothe B was retrofitted with two tandem stub pylons under each wing root, adjacent to the centreline pod,  for B43 or B61 nuclear weapons for a total of five nuclear weapons per aircraft.
Although the USAF explored the possibility of using the B for the conventional strike role, it was never equipped for carrying or dropping conventional bombs.
A photo reconnaissance pod, the LA, was also fielded. Several other specialized pods for ECM or an early cruise missile were considered, but not adopted.
The late s High Virgo air-launched ballistic missile was designed to be launched from the B with four test launches of the High Virgo carried out by a B to determine ballistic missile and anti-satellite weapon system capability. The B crews were chosen from other strategic bomber squadrons.
Due to some characteristics of delta-winged aircraft, new pilots used the Convair F Delta Dagger as a conversion trainer, before moving to the TBA trainer.
Compounding this, the B had a high accident rate: The SAC senior leadership had been doubtful about the aircraft type from the beginning, although its crews eventually became enthusiastic about the aircraft. General Curtis LeMay was never satisfied with the bomber, and after a flight in one declared that it was too small, far too expensive to maintain in combat readiness and required an excessive number of aerial refuelings to complete a mission.
While its performance and design were exceptional Convair b 58a hustler appreciated, it was not easy to fly.
It required a much higher angle of attack than a conventional aircraft, up to 9. Several factors could prevent a successful recovery: The B also had stall characteristics that were unconventional. If the nose was elevated, the bomber maintained forward motion without pitching down.
Unless large amounts of power were applied, the descent rate increased rapidly. It was due to fuel moving in the tanks and causing sudden changes in the center of gravity. This could cause the aircraft to pitch or bank and subsequently lose control. Two SAC bomb wings operated the B during its operational service: By the time the early problems had largely been resolved and SAC interest in the bomber had Convair b 58a hustler, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara decided that the B was not a viable weapon system.