Record Breaker: The Convair B-58 Hustler Story Vol. 2 DVD
The Convair B-58 was the first operation jet bomber capable of Mach 2 flight. First flown in the late 1950s, the B-58 was introduced in 1960. This DVD includes six B-58 films from the 1950s and 1960s. Also included is the Convair TB-58A (two cockpit training version) flight manual as a computer .pdf file.
A pilot once said of the Convair B-58, "She looked like she was breaking the sound barrier just sitting on the tarmac." At Mach 2 +, the B-58 wasn't just one of the fastest bombers of her day, she was one of the fastest military planes period. A first cousin of the hot "century series" of fighters, the delta winged "Hustler' medium bomber combined outstanding performance with a striking, javelin-like profile that spawned a mystique that survives to this day. In the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, in just two years the B-58 captured 14 speed and performance records, many previously held by Soviet aircraft. She was not only capable of extended 700 mph on-the deck missions at 500 feet (then unheard of for a bomber and without the advantages of today's ground hugging radar or fly-by-wire) she also set altitude and climb records. The B-58 was capable of doing whatever was necessary to invade enemy air space.
More great B-58 Hustler color footage shown in digitally restored video and audio:
Film #1 B-58 Hustler First Test Flight (Color, 18:00, 1956) On Veterans Day, Nov 11th, 1956 Convair's revolutionary delta wing B-58 "Hustler" supersonic bomber took to the skies for the first time, piloted by B. A, Ericson, who had also flown the first test flight of the company's giant B-36 "Peacemaker" intercontinental bomber, several of which can be seen in the background. You'll see both the low and high speed taxi testing, including front wheel lift off, that proceeded the B-58's first flight, delivering excellent footage of the silvery prototype from a number of angles.The first flight takes the aircraft to Mach .7 at 20,000' and back down again without a hitch -- and you'll see it all in this memorable color film.
Film #2 B-58 Hustler: Swift, Capable, Versatile, Operational! (Color, 13:00,1961) This film report from the US Air Force on the progress of the B-58 Program was produced by the Convair Division of General Dynamics in January 1961. Highlights include B-58 crews scrambling from their '58 Chevy to get their Hustler airborne; the 18th Sept, 1959 low level capability demonstration flight from Texas to California averaging over 600 kts at altitudes below 500', unique film of a B-58's automatic release of it's weapons pod at Mach 2, at over 50,000'; 43rd Bomb Wing B-58s win SAC's 1960 Combat Competition, defeating 24 other aircraft in both high & low level bombing classifications, and the amazing string of speed and altitude records set at Edwards AFB in January, 1961. Outstanding color B-58 Hustler footage throughout!
Film #3 Airplane 11: The First B-58 Trainer (Color, 6:00,1961) The first trainer version of the Hustler, the TB-58, was delivered by General Dynamics to the US Air Force in August, 1960, the first of eight R&D aircraft (this was "aircraft 11" in the test series) converted for that purpose. The biggest change involved converting the Bomber/Navigator station (2nd seat aft) to a pilot/instructors compartment with instrumentation and controls.Highlights include great footage of the colorfully painted TB 58 training version in operation, a tour of the mock up of the converted crew section, and unique in flight footage shot from inside the aircraft. (A TB-58 pilots manual is included on this DVD that shows the details of the conversion.)
Film #4 Open Road III: B-58 MITO Tests (Color, 17:00,1963) During the depths of the Cold War, SAC bombers had only 15 to 20-minutes to get airborne between the launch of enemy missiles and their arrival at US targets. That meant that the ability get US air forces on their way quickly and efficiently was absolutely essential for survivability, striking power and deterrence. A critical element in this quick response was "MITO" - "Minimum Interval Take-Off." This involved determining the optimum interval between the launching aircraft to achieve the fastest possible deployment, while avoiding jet thrust and wing turbulence from preceding aircraft while allowing an adequate safety margin in case an individual plane had to abort. In January, 1963, SAC B-58 units conducted a series of tests to determine optimum MITO for the Hustler for day and night launches, singly and in pairs, with up to a half dozen B-58s queuing up on the flight line. There's some beautiful B-58 take-off footage here, shot from many angles, including overhead helicopter shots of dual launches and afterburners lighting up the night.
Film #5 B-58 Ejection System Development (Color,11:00,1962) The B-58 was the first aircraft capable of operating at sustained supersonic speeds at very high altitudes. That posed new problems for crew ejection and survivability. This film, produced by General Dynamics and the US Air Force, shows the unique challenges in ejecting from the B-56 and thesolutions that were developed over time. Initially, traditional ejection seats were used, but he decision was made early on to evolve to a mini clam shell like ejection "capsule" for each of the three crew members that could survive both rough terrain and water landings. The capsule had to take up no more space than a conventional seat and allow aircraft operation when closed but not ejected during an emergency.You'll see the program from conception through execution.
Film #6 Escape and Survive (Color, 10:00,1963) Developed by B-58 capsule subcontractor and ejection seat pioneer Stanley Aviation, this film focuses on the design, manufacture and testing of the capsule itself. Among several highlights are the dramatic tests conducted on Hurricane Mesa, Utah. To test ground launch capabilities, a B-58 forward fuselage with crew compartment was put on a rocket sled, tracking toward the edge of the 2,000 foot mesa. Ejection rockets successfully powered the capsules high high over the mesa's edge to descend on the rocks below.
File #1 Convair TB-58A "Hustler" Flight Manual (82 pages). Rare supplementary manual for the TB-58A, the training version of the Hustler with two cockpits, in Adobe acrobat .pdf file format on the DVD. This file is viewable on a computer DVD player.
The DVD is in NTSC format with a runtime of about 75 minutes and region-free. It is packaged in a plain clear plastic C-Shell DVD case without paper graphics.