By Roger Chesneau
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Additional info for Aeroguide 26 - British Aerospace Harrier GR Mk. 5/ Mk. 7
In 1952, GE began development of what eventually became the J79 turbojet, which became one of the most widely used engines in fighters and bombers in the late 1950s and 1960s. While one of the most important and technologically demanding bomber programs of the era, the B-58 was not the ultimate prize for bomber developers in the 1950s; rather, the Holy Grail for contractors remained the future heavy strategic bomber to replace the B-52. North American, Boeing, and Convair bitterly fought for this contract (along with other less likely candidates), while Martin attempted to remain alive in the bomber field with a new supersonic medium bomber.
This effort resulted in the YB-49, whose maiden flight took place in October 1947. The prototype broke many performance records, but proved difficult to control, with both original test aircraft destroyed in accidents. The program was eventually canceled. 16 Bomber R&D Since 1945: The Role of Experience wing design. (See Jones, 1980, pp. 153-165; Gunston, 1993, pp. )6 North American's B-45 eventually won a small production contract, while Convair's and Martin's programs were canceled after flight testing of the prototypes.
5 XB-68 medium bomber project, which was approved by the Air Force in September 1956. But since the XB-68 was very similar to the B-58, the Air Force canceled the project only a few months later, in early 1957, before any significant work could be undertaken. Attempts to diversify into commercial transports and nonaerospace products did not fare well. Martin had more success moving into space, by building on its pioneering experience in developing the Titan ICBM beginning in 1953. In 1961, Martin merged with American Marietta, a nonaerospace conglomerate, and concentrated on space programs and subcontracting.
Aeroguide 26 - British Aerospace Harrier GR Mk. 5/ Mk. 7 by Roger Chesneau