B-57E “Intruder”

Strategic Air & Space Museum B-57 2

Aircraft Type: B-57E, S/N 55-4244, Intruder, Martin

Mission: Low-level support bomber and tactical strike aircraft

Number Built : The Air Force accepted a grand total of 403 B-57′s, all of which were produced in Baltimore Maryland, by the Glenn L. Martin Co. Specifically, the B-57 program comprised 8 B-57As, 202 B-57Bs, 38 B-57Cs, 68 B-57Es, 67 RB-57As, and 20 RB-57Ds. Other B-57s, such as the B-57Gs, RB-57Fs and WB-57Fs, were the result of extensive post-production modifications.

Powerplant: 2 Wright WJ65-W-5 turbojets, 7,200 lbs. thrust each.

Weight: Empty 30,000 lbs., Loaded 49,500 lbs., Maximum takeoff weight 55,000 lbs.

Dimensions: Wingspan 64′, Length 65’6″, Height 15’7″.

Performance: Maximum speed 580 MPH at 40,000 feet, Cruising speed 475 MPH, Service ceiling 48,000 feet, range 2300 miles.

Significance of Type : The Air Force flew two high-altitude, radar reconnaissance variants of the highly successful and ever-present Martin RB-57 Canberra from mid-1956 through 1960 (after which they continued in service with other USAF commands). The Canberra was Britain’s first operational jet-propulsion bomber; it was manufactured continuously for 12 years and has served a dozen nations in several roles. In the United States, Martin copied an English Electric Canberra to produce the B-57 as a tactical strike aircraft, with the first American-built unit flying on 20 July 1953. Subsequently, two strategic reconnaissance variants were manufactured. They retain the trim Canberra fuselage, but have disproportionately long wings and outsized engine nacelles. No weapons are carried.

About Our B-57E, S/N 55-4244 : The Museum’s B-57 was manufactured by Martin Company, Baltimore, Maryland and delivered to the USAF on September 21, 1956. Below are the unit assignments of this aircraft:

September 1956- To AF Operational Test Center (Air Proving Ground Command), Eglin AFB, Florida (to JB-57E)

December 1957- To Air Proving Ground Center (Air Research and Development Command), Eglin AFB (deployments to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio and Kirtland AFB, New Mexico)

October 1967- To B-57E

November 1968- To Armament Development and Test Center (AF Systems Command), Eglin AFB, Florida

December 1969- Dropped from inventory by transfer to the Strategic Air & Space Museum