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    Museum Audio Tour 41: Cold War Gallery: Growth of SAC

    Museum Audio Tour 41: Cold War Gallery: Growth of SAC

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    Audio by NMUSAF PA 

    National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

    At the beginning of the Cold War, the United States needed to deter and contain communist aggression and the U.S. Air Force needed something to keep the “bear” at bay. “Bear” was a term used to describe the Soviets. The Strategic Air Command, or SAC, was a major focus for the expanding Air Force. In order to surround a potential enemy, SAC acquired facilities around the world and by late 1950s, it had bases in England, North Africa, Spain, Guam, Newfoundland, Labrador and Greenland. To deter communist aggression, the Air Force also needed strategic bombers with the range and payload capability to deliver nuclear weapons on a moment’s notice, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The Convair B-36 Peacemaker fulfilled that role. In 1948, B-36s arrived at SAC bases. This massive aircraft had a range of more than 7,000 miles and its 230-foot wingspan is about twice the distance flown by the Wright Brothers on their famous first flight in 1903. At the same time, improved aerial refueling techniques allowed SAC bombers to reach targets in Europe and Asia even if overseas bases were destroyed by a surprise enemy attack. To reduce the risk to its bomber fleet in the United States, SAC dispersed planes to many bases across the nation to avoid having too many at a single location. In the end, the Peacemaker was aptly named because it never dropped a bomb in anger and its presence was a major deterrent to a possible hot war in the troublesome 1950s. Be sure to walk underneath this behemoth aircraft to take a look inside the bomb bay. Also notice the small, unusual aircraft under the B-36’s wing called the XF-85 Goblin. This experimental parasite aircraft was designed to fit in the B-36, be released to fend off enemy aircraft and then hook back up to the bomber for the flight home.



    Date Taken: 12.31.1969
    Date Posted: 09.02.2015 13:49
    Category: Newscasts
    Audio ID: 41962
    Filename: 1509/DOD_102704383.mp3
    Length: 00:01:54
    Album Museum Audio Tour
    Track # 41
    Location: DAYTON, OH, US 

    Web Views: 3
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