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AC-130 live fire drill

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Convair B-58 Hustler supersonic nuclear-capable strategic bomber, the world’s first supersonic bomber; and like the soviet Tu-22 after her, she was deemed a disappointment due to her high fuel consumption and poor range, specially after developments in soviet air defenses forced the introduction of a low-level strike doctrine within America’s supersonic bomber fleet.

General characteristics

Crew: 3: pilot; observer (navigator, radar operator, bombardier); defense system operator (DSO; electronic countermeasures operator and pilot assistant).
Length: 96 ft 10 in (29.5 m)
Wingspan: 56 ft 9 in (17.3 m)
Height: 29 ft 11 in (8.9 m)
Wing area: 1,542 ft² (143.3 m²)
Empty weight: 55,560 lb (25,200 kg)
Loaded weight: 67,871 lb (30,786 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 176,890 lb (80,240 kg)
Powerplant: 4 × General Electric J79-GE-5A turbojet

Performance

Maximum speed: Mach 2.0 (1,319mph) at 40,000 ft (12,000 m)
Cruise speed: 610 mph (530 kn, 985 km/h)
Combat radius: 1,740 mi (1,510 nmi, 3,220 km)
Ferry range: 4,100 nmi (4,700 mi, 7,600 km)
Service ceiling: 63,400 ft (19,300 m)
Rate of climb: 17,400 ft/min (88 m/s) at gross weight
Wing loading: 44.0 lb/ft² (215 kg/m²)
Thrust/weight: 0.919 lbf/lb

Armament

Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.79 in) T171 cannon
Bombs: 4× B43 or B61 nuclear bombs; maximum weapons load was 19,450 lb (8,820 kg)