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North American Aviation B-45 Tornado Warpaint No.118 - Guideline Publications


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North American Aviation B-45 Tornado Warpaint No.118

Guideline Publications

 

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The B-45 was a product of late WWII developed when the US were alarmed by the Arado Ar-234 Jet Bomber, as such the use of swept wings had not been brought in yet and it was a straight winged design with twin podded engines. While a lot of projects were cancelled post war the US chose to keep with the design as future projects were still to far away, however production was limited due to USAF budget cuts to only 142 aircraft.  The design did have issues mainly with the engines and it did not look good. However US involvement in Korea and the development of smaller Nuclear Weapons lead to their use in Europe as part of the deterrence structure. 

 

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At the same time the RB-45 was developed as a strategic reconnaissance platform with 33 being built. These all being assigned to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. Originally flying from Japan to supplement their RB-29s which were easy targets for MiG-15s over Korea.  These flew daylight missions until one was lost to a MiG-15, then they were switched to night missions. As well as these missions they would conduct over flights of the USSR until this was stopped the President. The radar data was still needed of targets in the USSR for SAC bombers and in 1951 in 1951 4 aircraft were "leased" to the RAF. These American aircraft suitably adorned with RAF markings and RAF crews would then fly missions from RAF Sculthorpe. The RB-45 was then replaced by the Canberra as the RB-45 could only achieve 36,000 Feet which was within the capabilities of Soviet Fighters where as the Canberra could reach 54,000 Feet.  Today two B-45's survive in museums and only one RB-45.

 

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Conclusion

The Warpaint series always gets a thumbs-up due to their inability to produce a dud! They are always well written and informative with a wealth of picture and profiles, this edition also having 1/72 scale plans at the centre.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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