The CFM International CFM56
series is a family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines
made by CFM International
with a thrust range of 18,500 to 34,000 pound-force
(lbf) (80 to 150 kilonewtons
(kN)). CFMI is a 50-50 joint-owned company of SNECMA
and GE Aviation
. Both companies are responsible for producing components and each has its own final assembly line. The CFM56 first ran in 1974 and, despite initial political problems, is now one of the most prolific jet engine
types in the world: more than 20,000 have been built in four major variants. It is most widely used on the Boeing 737 airliner
and under military designation F108 replaced the Pratt & Whitney JT3D
engines on many KC-135 Stratotankers
in the 1980s, creating the KC-135R variant of this aircraft. It is also one of two engines used to power the Airbus A340
, the other being the Rolls-Royce Trent
. The engine is also fitted to Airbus A320 series
aircraft. Several fan blade failure incidents were experienced during the CFM56's early service, including one failure that was noted as a cause of the Kegworth air disaster
, and some variants of the engine experienced problems caused by flight through rain and hail. However, both these issues were resolved with engine modifications.
The Convair B-36
was a strategic bomber
built by Convair
for the United States Air Force
, the first to have truly intercontinental range. Unofficially nicknamed the "Peacemaker"
, the B-36 was the first thermonuclear weapon
delivery vehicle, the largest piston aircraft ever to be mass-produced, and the largest warplane of any kind.
The B-36 was the only American aircraft with the range and payload to carry such bombs from airfields on American soil to targets in the USSR, as storing nuclear weapons in foreign countries was diplomatically delicate. The nuclear deterrent the B-36 afforded may have kept the Soviet Army from fighting alongside the North Korean and Chinese armies during the Korean War. Convair touted the B-36 as an "aluminum overcast," a "long rifle" to give SAC a global reach. When General Curtis LeMay headed SAC (1949-57) and turned it into an effective nuclear delivery force, the B-36 formed the heart of his command. Its maximum payload was more than four times that of the B-29, even exceeding that of the B-52.
- Span: 230 ft 0 in (70.10 m)
- Length: 162 ft 1 in (49.40 m)
- Height: 46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)
- Engines: 6× Pratt & Whitney R-4360-53 "Wasp Major" radials, 3,800 hp (2,500 kW) each
- Cruising Speed: 230 mph (200 kn, 380 km/h) with jets off
- Range: 6,795 mi (5,905 nmi, 10,945 km) with 10,000 lb (4,535 kg) payload
- First Flight: 8 August 1946