Boeing RB-50B Superfortress


            The Boeing RB-50B Superfortress was a four-engine, long-range reconnaissance aircraft used by the US Air Force during the Korean War.  Late in World War Two the US Army Air Force began work on a larger B-29 with more powerful engines and an improved wing design.  Originally developed with the designation B-29D, this was later designated the B-50.  The first production aircraft flew on 25 June 1947.

            The B-50 had four 3,500-hp engines giving it a maximum speed of 385 mph.  It was armed with twelve 0.50-inch machine-guns and one 20mm cannon and could carry over 20,000 lbs. of bombs.  Slightly over 350 B-50s were built, 44 of which were fitted for photographic reconnaissance and designated the RB-50B.

            A handful of RB-50Bs were used for photographic reconnaissance during the last two years of the Korean War, serving with the USAF 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Photographic.

            With the advent of jet bombers, many of the B-50s were converted to KB-50 tankers, which remained in service with the US Air Force until the late 1960s.