When the Boeing B-47 Stratojet bomber entered service with Strategic Air Command (SAC) in 1951 it was the first swept-wing jet-powered bomber in service. Originally conceived during World War II, the design morphed several times during development, including the addition of the swept wing. Early on it was discovered that the aircraft was capable of advanced maneuvers previously considered impossible for an aircraft of its size and weight. This video highlights a series of tests flown during 1954 to learn the practical limits of the aircraft’s maneuverability. Thanks to YouTuber ZenosWarbirds for uploading this great look at the B-47 and its ability to fly like a fighter or a strategic bomber.
A bomber with the B-47’s maneuverability would be able to deliver weaponry using toss bombing. Essentially the bomber would approach the target at low altitude and high speed, initiate a steep vertical climb, and release the weapon using its own momentum to “toss” the weapon toward the target.
The bomber would then pull through the vertical and fly the remaining half-loop ending up on the reciprocal heading used for the bombing run or chosen egress course. Performed at high speed the egress after a toss-bombing delivery would expose the attacking bomber to the least possible blast effects from the delivered weapon upon detonation. Thankfully no B-47 ever actually toss-bombed a real enemy target!