The Boeing B-47 will be the first new aircraft the Museum has acquired in over 20 years, and the Museum is actively raising money to complete the full exhibit, which will include reassembly of this historic airplane. This extremely intensive move, requiring much planning and many permits for such an overwhelming load, will bring the final parts of the airplane to the Museum in preparation for reassembly and permanent display.
“Airplanes are such an impressive representation of our past, and we are so proud to present such an iconic piece of history for the public to enjoy,” said Jim Walther, Director of the Museum. “The B-47 Stratojet represents the country’s first asymmetrical nacelle engine bomber. This is so very important because every large commercial jet aircraft today is a descendant of the Boeing B-47.”
The Museum is receiving the B-47 as a permanent loan from the Air Force Museum. Worldwide Aircraft Recovery Ltd., who drew crowds when they moved planes for the Museum in late 2008 and early 2009, will be transporting this behemoth from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, concluding a year and a half of planning and preparation of obtaining the aircraft in its entirety.
At 107 ft long, with a wing span of 116 ft, the Boeing B-47 was the country’s first swept-wing, multiengine bomber. It represented a milestone in aviation history and a revolution in aircraft design. This particular B-47 was utilized as a test bed aircraft for the design, development, installation and flight test evaluation of a single axis, “fly-by-wire,” primary flight control system. This flight control system concept represented the first basic change in flight control system design since the early days of aircraft.
Plans for re-assembly of this B-47 are still in the works, as the Museum hopes to meet its goal of $120,000 to finalize the process of dis-assembly, transport and re-assembly of the aircraft. Completion of this outdoor exhibit for visitor viewing will possibly take place this coming fall.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is located at 601 Eubank SE in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Formerly the National Atomic Museum, which opened in 1969 and was chartered by Congress in 1991, the Museum serves as a repository and steward of nuclear-related historical items and is a Smithsonian affiliate. The Museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 361 days a year. The Museum’s website is www.nuclearmuseum.org and the phone number is 505-245-2137.