(Download a higher resolution picture by clicking on any picture below.)
Castle Air Museum near Atwater, California hosted Open Cockpit Days over the weekend of May 25-26, 2002.
I took the opportunity to climb inside the forward crew compartment of their Convair RB-36H, 51-13730.
Flight deck. The left seat was occupied by the aircraft commander. The pilot's seat is on the right. There was no co-pilot. Throttle controls for the reciprocating engines are located on the center pedestal. The throttle controls for the jets are on the overhead panel.
Aircraft commander's station and pilot's station diagrams from the RB-36D flight manual. The instrument layout is somewhat different in the earlier models.
Forward cabin & camera compartment arrangements diagram from the RB-36D flight manual
The pilot's seat.
The flight engineers' station is directly behind the pilots' seats and faces to the rear. Late model B-36s had two flight engineers.
The radio operator's station is located behind the flight deck. The hatch at lower left leads into the unpressurized gun turret and radar bay between the forward crew compartment and the camera compartment.
The bombardier's station is located on the lower deck. The large circular panel is optically flat glass for aiming bombs visually. Late in the career of the B-36, bomb aiming was done primarily by radar.
The weather observer's station is located on the right side of the lower deck.
The radar navigator's station is located on the left side of the lower deck.
Link to a display of the restoration of this RB-36H.
Link to the Castle Air Museum home page.
Dennis Jenkins has produced another large B-36 book: Magnesium Overcast.
Meyers Jacobsen has authored another book about the Convair B-36 Peacemaker: A Photo Chronicle.
Convair B-36 : A Comprehensive History of America's 'Big Stick by Meyers K. Jacobsen. Mr. Jacobsen has been compiling this history for at least a quarter of a century.
Warbird Tech: Convair B-36 Peacemaker . This volume by Dennis Jenkins contains a surprising amount of information that did not get into "The Big Stick".
The history of the efforts to preserve B-36J, 52-22827 at Fort Worth is well documented in "B-36: Saving the Last Peacemaker"; Second Edition, an html book on CD.
Go to the main Convair B-36 page.
Send a message to Brian.