B-45 Tornado Bomber

B-45 Tornado Bomber The North American Aviation B-45 was one of America's first operational bombers to employ jet propulsion. Designed during 1944 and 1945, the straight-wing Tornado was the first jet bomber in service with the U.S. Air Force and was the first four-jet aircraft to fly in the United States.

Other versions include the longer-range B-45C with wing-tip tanks and the photoreconnaissance version, the RB-45C.

Rated as a light bomber by modern-day standards, it was the first four-jet aircraft to drop an atom bomb and the first to be refueled in midair.


First flight: Feb. 24, 1947
Span: 89 feet
Length: 75 feet 11 inches
Gross weight: 82,600 pounds
Power plant: Four General Electric J47A jet engines with water injection. First 22 produced with Allison J35 engines.
Speed: 575 mph class
Crew: Four
Service ceiling: Over 45,000 feet
Armament: Two .50-caliber machine guns
Payload: More than 20,000 pounds
Number built: 143