The Convair B-36 was was the largest mass-produced piston engine aircraft ever made. The RFP (Request for Proposal) was think to overcome a possible fall of Britain and need for a real transoceanic bomber. The goals were reduced due to technological limitations but staid far beyond the capacities of front-line bombers of any country. The study started by Consolidated spread slowly for Convair -as the company were then named after WW2. This ambitious programm and the priority given to production and immediate project led to report the delivery and first flight. At a time of reduction of armed forces, the project was saved by a serie of international political events such the Berlin Airlift and the first Russian atomic bomb : the Pacemaker was the only aircraft able to carry the A-bomb as far as the soviet objectives. Despite piston-powered, the B-36 was superior to its counterparts of the SAC (B-29, B-50 and B-47) mainly by its radius and its ability to carry the first H-bomb until the B-52 became opearational in 1955.From the -D model, four jet engines were added to the six piston ones. Numerous bomber were later converted to the strategic reconnaissance role before being withdrawn from service in 1959.
A total of 384 B-36 of all kind were built.