The CONVAIR B-58 "Hustler" was designed as a supersonic bomber for the USAF in the 1950s in the Cold War. First flight was November 1956. It had modern systems for its role, a thin fuselage and a large delta wing with four engines in under wing pods. A large external droppable pod was fitted under the fuselage that contained extra fuel and a nuclear weapon along with other mission-specific gear. Later versions were fitted with reconnaissance equipment in place of the armament to form the "RB-58A" mark. Crew accommodations for the B-58 Hustler consisted of a pilot, navigator / bombardier, and defense systems operator - all sitting in tandem within escape capsules. A "TB" trainer version was also used.
The B-58 set several speed and altitude records with a top speed of no less than 2,100 km/hr at altitude. But it had a large fuel consumption and limited strike range. Some 86 B-58's were used as bomber by the USAF with another 30 aircraft for testing and other roles. It was retired in 1970.
This B-58A c/n 61-2080 coded "080" shows markings of the 305th Bombardment Wing, Grissom AFB, Indiana as of 1969. It is on display and was seen at the Pima Air and Space museum, Tucson, Az.
Photographed November 2016 by Cees Hendriks (C) Copyright!
Model kits: various plastic models have appeared over the years of the B-58. The older kits had odd scales. Academy and Hobbycraft had 1/144 kits and in 1/72 there is the Italeri (also released by Testors) kit of B-58 Hustler and TB-58 Boomerang trainer. Monogram/ Revell have a larger 1/48 kit.
This webpage was first created September 2017 by M. de Vreeze