Historical Snapshot

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 wingtip 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.

    Technical Specifications

    First flight March 17, 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