Video: Convair B-58 Hustler
The Convair B-58 Hustler was the first operational jet bomber capable of Mach 2 supersonic flight.
The B-58 made its initial flight on Nov. 11, 1956. In addition to the Hustler's delta wing shape, distinctive features included a sophisticated inertial guidance navigation and bombing system, a slender "wasp-waist" fuselage and an extensive use of heat-resistant honeycomb sandwich skin panels in the wings and fuselage.
Since the thin fuselage prevented the carrying of bombs internally, a droppable, two-component pod beneath the fuselage contained a nuclear weapon -- along with extra fuel, reconnaissance equipment or other specialized gear. The B-58 crew consisted of a pilot, navigator/bombardier and defense systems operator.
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