Boeing B-47 STRATOJET
The Boeing B-47 Stratojet was the first swept-wing bomber built in any quantity in the world. Initial design work began in 1943 and with the end of the war, the final design benefited from results obtained from German research. The first prototype was ready to fly in 1947.
The B-47 went to achieve quantity production for the USAF and became the mainstay of the Strategic Air Command. By comparison the RCAF did not pursue any bomber force in the post-war period. The RCAF, however, did acquire one B-47 Stratojet (USAF B-47 No. 51-2051) for test and evaluation purposes.
Ironically this bomber was acquired to facilitate the test of a fighter engine for the new Avro Arrow interceptor then under development. The B-47 became a flying test bed for Orenda's Iroquois engine testing in which the test engine was mounted in a nacelle on the rear fuselage and in doing so, it became the only seven-engine B-47. Besides adding this engine pylon and nacelle, the extensive structural modifications included double skinning the rear fuselage, strengthening bulkheads and adding bulkheads and longerons. The co-pilot's station was modified into a flight test engineer's station, test instrumentation was installed in the bomb bay and 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) of ballast was installed in the nose to counter the weight of the Iroquois engine. In subsequent test flights, the B-47 had its primary engines shut down and the aircraft was able to fly powered solely by the Iroquois.
With the termination of the Arrow / Iroquois program, the aircraft was returned to the United States.
The sole B-47 Stratojet in RCAF colours. The Iroquois engine test pod is visible at the rear of the aircraft (Avro Photo)