Boeing B-47 Stratojet

The Boeing B-47 Stratojet jet bomber was a medium-range and -size bomber capable of flying at high subsonic speeds and primarily designed for penetrating the the airspace of the Soviet Union. A major innovation in post-World War II combat jet design, it helped lead to the development of modern jet airliners. While the B-47 never saw major combat use, the United States Air Force, Strategic Air Command, had B-47 Stratojets (B-47s, EB-47s, RB-47s and YRB-47s) in service from 1951 through 1965. 

When B-47s began to be delivered to the Air Force, most crews were excited about getting their hands on the hot new bomber. The bomber was so fast that in the early days, the B-47 set records with ease. However, it took the US Air Force until 1953 to turn the B-47 into an operational aircraft. The aircraft was sluggish on takeoff and too fast on landings. Improved training led to a good safety record. By 1956, the U.S. Air Force had 28 wings of B-47 bombers and five wings of RB-47 reconnaissance aircraft. B-47 production ceased in 1957, though modifications and rebuilds continued after that. The B-47 would be the backbone of SAC into 1959, when the B-52 began to take assume nuclear alert duties and the B-47 wings started to be cut back.

Boeing B-47 Stratojet
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Boeing
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1947
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Boeing 2032 View

Role Strategic bomber/Aerial reconnaissance
Manufacturer Boeing Aircraft Company
Designer Boeing
First flight 17 December 1947
Introduction June 1951
Retired 1969, B-47E
1977, EB-47E
Primary user U.S. Air Force
Number built 2032
Unit cost US$1.9 million (B-47E) equivalent to $20.1 million in current value

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 107 ft 1 in (32.6 m)
  • Wingspan: 116 ft 0 in (35.4 m)
  • Height: 28 ft 0 in (8.5 m)
  • Wing area: 1,428 ft (132.7 m)
  • Airfoil: NACA 64A(0.225)12 mod root and tip
  • Empty weight: 79,074 lb (35,867 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 133,030 lb (60,340 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 230,000 lb (100,000 kg)
  • Powerplant: 6 x General Electric J47-GE-25 turbojets, 7,200 lbf (32 kN) each
  • * Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0148 (estimated)
  • Drag area: 21.13 ft (1.96 m)
  • Aspect ratio: 9.42


  • Maximum speed: 607 mph (527 kn, 977 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 557 mph (484 kn, 896 km/h)
  • Combat radius: 1,749 NM (2,013 mi, 3,240 km) with 20,000 lb (9,000 kg) bombload
  • Ferry range: 4,037 NM (4,647 mi, 6,494 km)
  • Service ceiling 33,100 ft (10,100 m)
  • Rate of climb: 4,660 ft/min (23.7 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 93.16 lb/ft (454.8 kg/m)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.22
  • Lift-to-drag ratio: 20.0 (estimated)


  • Guns: 2 x 20 mm M24A1 cannons
  • Bombs: 25,000 lb (11,000 kg) of ordnance, including:
    • 2 x nuclear bombs, or
    • 28 x 500 lb (230 kg) conventional bombs

End notes