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Convair LRHBA "XB-52"

58.0k SimplyPlain  16 days ago
Auto Credit Based on LieutenantSOT's Strategic Air Command Challenge

The Convair LRHBA / XB-52

Not a completely fictional build… let’s call it “alternate history”, if you will. The fictional part of the story? This plane is the prototype of SAC’s brand new B-52 bombers.

The somewhat less fictional part is that it could indeed have been the B-52’s daddy. Following a 1945 request by the air force for a new long-range bomber, three companies submitted a design. Martin’s Model 236 dropped out of the race quite early, so the competition was between designs by Convair and Boeing. Needless to say, Boeing won, and got the go-ahead to build the XB-52 in 1951. But really… wouldn’t the B-52 have looked much cooler if Convair had taken the cake?

Convair’s design was quite startling, and looked like something from a sci-fi magazine with its forward-swept wings. The propulsion system was also quite novel, with each nacelle containing a Wright T-35 turboprop in the front, and a Wright T-180 turbojet in the back… giving the plane a total of 8 engines. The idea was to let the plane cruise on turboprops for reasons of fuel economy, and to let the jet engines help on takeoff, climbs, and whenever additional acceleration was needed.


The “LRHBA” lost the race because there were too many technical hurdles; Boeing’s design, though far from perfect, had the advantage of being cheap & simple. And so the Convair never made it off the drawing board.

The build

Convair never got beyond making sketches, so I had some freedom in deciding what the actual prototype would have looked like. The fighter-like cockpit Convair wanted to install was the first thing to get the boot; I tried it, and it looked awful. Since there’s ample room in the plane’s nose, there’s no need for it anyway. I dropped Convair’s concept of “flush-mounted gun turrets” as well; they make the plane look weird, and aren’t very functional. Besides, by the time the prototype would have been built it would probably –like the actual B-52- only have been equipped with a tail turret. Which is what I did with the Convair. In general, I didn’t want to add any bulges or parts sticking out from this otherwise beautifully sleek design.


Controls

The “XB-52” is big and heavy, so don’t expect it to handle like a jet fighter. It’s not overly sluggish either; let’s say it flies like a somewhat smaller bomber.
Standard controls are, well, standard… VTOL down for flaps, trim slider for pitch trim.

AG1 : toggles your jet engines. You’re welcome to use them all the time, but remember: they’re thirsty. And once you’re cruising at altitude, their effect isn’t even all that exciting. As per Convair’s design, mainly useful for takeoffs, climbs, and getting-the-hell-out-of-dodge.
AG2 : freezes out the plane’s controls and activates the gyro, giving you some freedom to shoot bogeys off your six with the tail turret (controlled with pitch & yaw).
AG3 : opens the bomb bays
AG4 : drops your nuke… with parachutes. I just added this as an option; it gives the bomb a different trajectory (making SP’s bomb aiming system quite useless) but it slow its descent and gives you more time to get away. You can still drop the bomb “normally” as well, of course.
AG7 : toggles the engine smoke effect
AG8 : toggles the lights

Takeoff: half flaps, full throttle, jets activated. Landing: full flaps, throttle down to some 35%, switch off the jets. Yes, it’s as simple as all that!

Things that go BOOM

Let’s skip the tail turret… just a pair of 20 mm’s you’re probably never going to use anyway.

The bomb bay contains one (1) single bomb; because this is a semi-fictional plane I thought I’d add a semi-fictional bomb. The Mark 16 hydrogen bomb never really reached the production stage; only five “emergency capability” units were built in the early 50’s, and they were soon retired once better equipment became available. At 18 tons, a single bomb is a full load for the bombers of that era.

The effect in SP is certainly not that of a 8-megaton nuke; still, it packs a bit of punch so it’s best only released if you have some serious altitude. To give you more time to get away from the blast, there’s an option (using AG4) to drop the bomb with ‘chutes to slow its descent. Oh, and if all goes well you should be able to detonate the bomb in mid air by pressing “fire guns”. It works, ehm, 80% of the time… can be useful against ships.


Anything else?

Not really, I guess. Those interested in Convair’s LRHBA can look it up on the net; there’s not much to be found, though, since the plane was never actually built. I suppose Convair’s XB-53 –which used the same swept-forward wing design- is probably better known.

Spotlights

General Characteristics

  • Predecessor Strategic Air Command Challenge
  • Created On Windows
  • Wingspan 167.1ft (50.9m)
  • Length 173.8ft (53.0m)
  • Height 41.7ft (12.7m)
  • Empty Weight 171,663lbs (77,865kg)
  • Loaded Weight 248,484lbs (112,710kg)

Performance

  • Power/Weight Ratio 0.108
  • Horse Power/Weight Ratio 0.096
  • Wing Loading 37.3lbs/ft2 (182.2kg/m2)
  • Wing Area 6,659.7ft2 (618.7m2)
  • Drag Points 58357

Parts

  • Number of Parts 1782
  • Control Surfaces 0

Required Mods

  • _Mechanical_Instrumentation by Gestour
    Version 1.0 (3/18/2019 6:06:03 AM)
    View Mod Page
  • Log in to leave a comment
  • Profile image
    328 133Hans

    You can add the tag of cockpit

    6 days ago
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    195 Yuri123

    wonderous!

    10 days ago
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    22.1k BagelPlane

    This is a fantastic plane! The only thing that bugs me is the orange exhaust of the engines. There shouldn't be any afterburner.

    +1 11 days ago
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    24.0k PapaKernels

    No way my dinky bomber can compete with this lol, looks pretty sick.

    +1 13 days ago
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    @SimplyPlain Thanks man no problem

    13 days ago
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    @LieutenantSOT thank you so much!

    +1 13 days ago
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    20.0k Ian_Yashima

    nice

    13 days ago
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    @CaptFoxworth19 download the plane, and then undo, and then redo and the mod will be removed. I hope this helps

    14 days ago
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    39.9k Sadboye12

    legit thought the first bomb picture was real

    +1 14 days ago
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    58.0k SimplyPlain

    @CaptFoxworth19 sorry, can't help you with that. But you can DL the plane without the mod.

    15 days ago
  • Profile image
    58.0k SimplyPlain

    @Tenashii no, Sukhoi LRHBA'd the Berkut. This thing was first...

    15 days ago
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    @SimplyPlain how to download the mod included via steam workshop because I am using mobile so I'm just asking if this is possible, if yes then can you guide me on how to download it?

    15 days ago
  • Profile image

    Did you just Berkut the B-52

    15 days ago
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    3,396 Thunderhawk

    Should I even bother finishing my bomber? Lol. This thing looks great. I never knew this idea existed until now so that was also interesting to read about. My entry was going to have engines very similar to these too. This build turned out very good. The fake photograph slide looks very realistic

    15 days ago
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    108k TMach5

    I think we have a winner! Or, at least, the Bomber to beat.

    15 days ago
  • Profile image

    @SimplyPlain ofc! And yeah... shall we see..

    16 days ago
  • Profile image
    58.0k SimplyPlain

    @LieutenantSOT Thanks! The score looks good, so far at least... wait & see what others come up with...

    +1 16 days ago
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    FSW bomber isn't real, it can't hurt...

    16 days ago
  • Profile image

    And because this plane isn't technically a replica, I will allow it to participate in the tournament!

    +1 16 days ago
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    Right-o, mate, here's your score:
    .
    20/20 - Armor | She has a lot of panelling, and can fare very well! I love how smooth your panelling is. I might take notes on it...
    40/40 - Size | She's a brute! Not as big as the B-36, but just as beautiful
    25/30 - Capacity | The only reason I put this here is because I feel like it could have had at least a little bit more for there being a massive 3-doored bomb bay. BUt still, I think it's super cool that you chose the H-bomb!
    20/20 - Maneuverability | She flies like a bomber. I love how realistic the movements are, so yes. Fits it well
    10/10 - Personal Preference | I LOVE Convair's old designs. I definitely think a lot of planes would look cooler today if they hadn't of gone bankrupt and got bought by... General Dynamics? Sucks, but hey, at least their memory stands on. I hope to work on the airworthy restoration of a B-36 one day. Gorgeous planes
    .
    115/120 - total
    .
    BONUS POINTS:
    +20, moving parts
    +40 for interior
    +5 x 4 = +20 points for decals
    +20 for badass landing gear
    +30 for it's amazing looks
    .
    TOTAL POINTS: 245/120

    16 days ago
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    35.4k Trainzo

    Great build , i love it .

    +1 16 days ago
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    I LOVE THIS.
    .
    I will be doing flight testing later today and will have your results back :)

    16 days ago
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    129k MAHADI

    looks like a fusion of XB-53 and B-52

    +1 16 days ago
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    Awesome

    16 days ago