With victory in WWII assured, America's aircraft manufacturers began looking forward to peace. As it ran down its bomber production, Boeing planned to produce a machine that would appeal to both the US military and the major airlines and by using some of the components (including the wings and tail) of the B-29 Superfortress, mated to a pressurized -double-lobed- fuselage, Boeing hoped to bring an aircraft to market quickly. Capable of carrying large numbers of passengers in relative, pressurized comfort, the prefix -Strato- indicating that it was pressurized, the 377 Stratocruiser entered service with American and British airlines but Boeing's financial position soon suffered from a downturn in the civil sector. Fortunately, by the 1950s the USAF was becoming a primarily jet-powered force and air force planners soon realized that early turbojets consumed extraordinary amounts of fuel, so a large aerial tanker fleet was going to be required. Thus the KC-97 Stratotanker was born and indeed, of all the C-97 variants operated by the USAF, more than 80% were tankers which stayed in service throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s. However, the story of the C-97 continued beyond military service with a variety of modified outsized freighters (the -Guppy- series), one of which still remains in service today with NASA.Nota de la solapa:
What happens when a Seattle planemaker takes the most advanced, longest ranged, highest flying super bomber of World War II (the B 26 Superfortress) and adapts it as the longest ranged, highest flying transport of the immediate postwar world?
The result was Boeing's Model 367, originally conceived as a long range transport that would have had a role in World War II if the campaign had gone longer, but which was adapted for the commercial market as the Model 377 Stratocruiser. It was the first commercial passenger plane that could provide non stop Transatlantic service.
The Stratocruiser went on to serve with Pan American World Airways, Northwest Airlines, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), and other airlines, flying both the Atlantic and the Pacific, as well as to the Middle East and South America. It became the gold standard of luxury and efficiency. When Elizabeth II made her first world tour as queen, she flew by BOAC Stratocruiser.
And then there was the Cold War. To counter the Soviet nuclear threat, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) initiated an unprecedented build up of jet bombers. Because these lacked global range, SAC also required an exceptional build up of aerial refueling aircraft. The Model 367 became the KC 97, the first dedicated aerial refueling aircraft to be fielded in significant numbers, as 888 were built.
As the family grew long in the tooth, yet another career awaited. Several of the original airframes were rebuilt as the inimitable "Guppies," the largest volume transports ever conceived. Working for NASA, they are credited with having made America's victory in the Space Race possible. This book tells and how service continued around the world, in the second decade of the twenty first century, one of the Guppies is still flying routine missions for NASA.
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Descripción Estado de conservación: Good. Book Condition: Good. Nº de ref. de la librería 97808597917934.0