|Type:||Electronic Warfare / Special Electronics|
|Length:||65' 6"||19.96 M|
|Height:||15' 6"||4.72 M|
|Gross Weight:||58798.0 lbs||26666.0 Kg|
|Max Weight:||58800.0lbs||26666.0 Kg|
|No. of Engines:||2|
|Range:||2000 miles||3220.00 Km|
|Cruise Speed:||450.00 mph||724.00 Km/H||391.35 Kt|
|Max Speed:||570.00 Mph||917.00 Km/H||495.68 Kt|
|Ceiling:||49000.0 Ft||14934.0 M|
In the midst of the Korean War, the United States Air Force determined it needed an all-weather tactical bomber capable of the low-level interdiction of enemy ground transports. Designed by English Electric Aviation, the twin jet-engine Canberra light bomber won the competition, becoming the first foreign designed military aircraft to be produced in the United States since the First World War. Behind in Canberra orders to the RAF, English Electric granted Martin Aviation the contract to produce the newly designated B-57 in the United States. Although the Martin Company began with the sleek Canberra jet-bomber, they made significant improvements re-configuring the aircraft with powerful Wright J65 engines, adding wingtip fuel tanks, reducing the crew from three to two and installing bomb-bay doors that rotated into the fuselage to decrease drag.
The first production B-57 flew on July 20, 1953, seven days before the Armistice ending the Korean War. By August, the USAF had accepted the B-57 for production. Between 1953 and 1957, 403 B-57s were built in various configurations.
The War in Vietnam brought the B-57 into conflict for the first time when two RB-57Es arrived in Southeast Asia in April of 1963 to fly reconnaissance sorties. By August of the next year, B-57B bombers from the Air Force's 8th and 13th Bomb Squadrons were engaged in night interdiction missions from bases in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. 1966 saw the B-57 contingent transferred to Phan Rang Air Base to conduct operations centered on the Ho Chi Minh trail and the Viet Cong strongholds in Binh Duong Province known as the "Iron Triangle." A total of 94 B-57Bs were deployed to Southeast Asia, 51 were lost in combat and seven to other causes. By 1969, only nine survived.
March Field Air Museum's B-57B, serial number 52-1519 is one of those rare survivors. Beginning life as a "D" model, it was delivered to the Air Force on March 29, 1955. During its operational life, it saw service with the 8th Tactical Bombing Squadron, Air National Guard Units in Kansas and Kentucky, PACAF units at Clark AB, Philippines, and Phan Rang AB, Vietnam. From 1969 to 1972, 52-1519 was stored at the "boneyard" at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. In 1973 it was converted to an EB-57B for an Electronic Counter-Measures (ECM) role, and flew with the 158th Defense Systems Evaluation Group of the Vermont Air National Guard from 1974-1981. This aircraft is currently on loan from the USAF.
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According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell AFB, AL, the museum's EB-57B has the following history:
B-57B, s/n 52-1519, was manufactured by Glenn L Martin Co., and delivered to the USAF on 29 Mar 1955. Its assignments were:
Mar 1955 - To Warner Robins Air Materiel Area GA
May 1955 - To 38th Bombardment (L) Wing (USAFE), Laon AB France
Oct 1955 - Unit became 38th Bombardment (Tactical) Wing (deployed to Landstuhl AB Germany)
Apr 1958 - To 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (ANG), NAS Hutchinson KS
Jul 1959 - To 165th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (ANG), Standiford Field KY (converted to RB-57B)
Jan 1963 - To 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group (ANG), Standiford Field KY
Jan 1965 - To 405th Fighter Wing (PACAF), Clark AB Philippines
Oct 1965 - To 6200th Air Base Wing (PACAF), Clark AB PH (converted to B-57B)
Apr 1967 - To 405th Fighter Wing (PACAF), Clark AB PH (deployed to Phan Rang AB SVN)
Jan 1968 - To 35th Fighter Wing (PACAF), Phan Rang AB NVN (deployed to Clark AB PH)
Oct 1969 - To Military Aircraft Storage Center AZ
Jul 1972 - To Warner Robins Air Materiel Area GA (converted to EB-57)
Jan 1973 - To 4677th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron (ADC), Malmstrom AFB MT (converted to EB-57B)
Apr 1974 - To 158th Fighter Interceptor Group (ANG), Burlington AP VT
Sep 1975 - To 158th DSE Group (ANG), Burlington AP VT
Dec 1981 - Dropped from inventory by donation to school or museum. Final flight to the museum at March AFB after 7,727.5 flight hours.