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B-36: Saving the Last Peacemaker

Ed Calvert, Don Pyeatt, & Richard Marmo
ProWeb CD-ROM, ©2000
ISBN 0-9677593-0-7

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

The B-36 was a huge lumbering bomber filled with piston and jet engines. During the 1950s they filled the skies over the US and abroad with their ability to fly for thousands of miles without stopping. The distinctive sound and silhouette (OK, more like an eclipse) was unique and could be discerned from miles away. But with the advent of the jet engine and air-to-air refueling, plus the increase in performance of bomber interceptors numbered the days of this giant plane.

After the B-36 was retired from service, nearly all of them were broken up for scrap. The aluminum alone from one B-36 could probably make a hundred cars, so there wasn't much effort to save any for posterity. One was saved for display at the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson and another was left at Dallas/Fort Worth. It's this last example that this CD talks about.

The plans for this last one were impressive to say the least. Initially, the group who tried to save the plane wanted to restore it to flying condition and fly it out of the airfield it was at. From those beginnings the entire history of saving this plane is recorded in both text and pictures. As an added bonus there are also some recordings of what a B-36 actually sounded like, something you can't experience in a printed book.

The CD-ROM format makes for a slightly different reading style, but if you don't like sitting in front of the screen and reading you can always print out a hard copy for yourself. This is an extremely interesting bit of history captured well and if you have an interest in this big giant be sure to check this one out.

More information can be found at http://last.b-36.homepage.com.

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