Jenkins, Dennis R. Magnesium Overcast: The Story of the Convair B-36. North Branch, MN: Specialty Press, [2001] 2002. ISBN 1-58007-042-6.
As alluded to by its nickname, the B-36, which first flew in 1946, was one big airplane. Its 70 metre wingspan is five metres more than the present-day 747-400 (64.4 m), although the fuselage, at 49 metres, is shorter than the 70 metre 747. Later versions, starting in 1950, were powered by ten engines: six piston engines (with 28 cylinders each) driving propellers, and four J47 jet engines, modified to run on the same high-octane aviation gasoline as the piston engines. It could carry a bomb load of 39,000 kg—no subsequent U.S. bomber came close to this figure, which is the weight of an entire F-15E with maximum fuel and weapons load. Depending on winds and mission profile, a B-36 could stay aloft for more than 48 hours without refueling (for which it was not equipped), and 30 hour missions were routinely flown.

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