Planes of Fame Air Museum
Planes of Fame Air Museum
Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  Boeing B-50A 'Superfortress'


  • In the final months of World War II, Boeing began fitting its B-29 bomber with the larger Pratt & Whitney R-4360 3500 hp four-row 28-cylinder engine, a taller tail and other technical improvements. These improved B-29Ds were soon renamed B-50As, going into service in 1947 as the frontline bomber of the USAF Strategic Air Command (SAC). Its mission, should world event dictate, was to drop atomic and conventional bombs on the Soviet Union.
  • The B-50 was modified to utilize the newly invented practice of mid-air refueling, giving it a virtually unlimited range. This principal was demonstrated to the world in February of 1949 when Lucky Lady" flew nonstop around the world in only 94 hours, having been refueled four times in midair. The age of intercontinental bombers had arrived.
  • Soon reality would set in when several reconnaissance versions of the bomber, RB-50s, were shot down during the Korean War. The B-50 would be the last piston engine- powered bomber built for the USAF. As they were replaced by the B-47 Stratojet, many of the B-50s were converted to KB-50 aerial tankers, some even fitted with jet engine pods on the outboard ends of the wings for increased speeds. The last B-50s were dropped from the SAC inventory in 1958. Although it would be reborn briefly as the WB-50 weather reconnaissance craft, by 1964 all were removed from service.
  • The museum's B-50A-5-BO is currently disassembled, and consists of the fuselage of the historic "Lucky Lady II" and the wings from a C-97 transport, which used the same wings and engines as the B-50.


  • In February of 1949, Planes of Fame Air Museum's B-50A, "Lucky Lady II", was the first aircraft to fly nonstop around the world, which took 94 hours. This black & white U.S. Air Force photo shows the Museum's B-50A Superfortress "Lucky Lady II" being refueled by a Boeing KB-29M tanker during its around-the-world-flight. The Museum's B-50A is below in the foreground. The museum's B-50 was used in the documentary Medals of Honor and in the movies Space Cowboys and Tucker.


Status: Unrestored
Manufacturer: Boeing Airplane Company
Year: 1948
Model: B-50A-5-BO Superfortress
Registration Number: 
Serial Number: 46-0010
Crew: 12
Max T/O Weight: 168,708 lb.
Span: 141 ft. 3 in.
Length: 99 ft. 0 in.
Height: 32 ft. 8 in.
Maximum Speed: 385 mph
Cruise Speed: 235 mph
Rate of Climb: 1,850 ft/min
Power Plant: 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-460-35 four-row air-cooled engines, 3,500 hp. each
Range: 4,650 miles
Service Ceiling: 37,000 ft.
Armament: N/A


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