The North American AJ Savage Nuclear Attack Bomber is Largely Forgotten But A Story Worth Knowing | Aviation

Savage 10.jpg

AJ Savage in flight.

After the Birth of the USAF, the AJ Savage Was the Navy’s Struggle for Relevance in the New Atomic Age.

Sleek, pretty and reportedly a dream to fly, the obscure North American AJ Savage nuclear strike aircraft may be one of the most significant aircraft you’ve never heard of. But the AJ Savage is worth knowing about.

The AJ Savage could actually be one of several reasons why we still have a carrier fleet in the U.S. Navy today following the nuclear strikes in 1945 and the creation of the U.S. Air Force in 1947.

In 1945 the global strategic order had just been upended by two operational strategic nuclear strikes on Japan. The bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima revolutionized the role of airpower in warfare and global diplomacy in a nuclear flash. These events, and the long process that lead up to them under deep cover of secrecy, shifted warfare to perhaps a greater degree than any event since early men hurled a stone at an adversary.

Suddenly, airpower was more relevant than ever. Strategists and pundits made a case that the need for a navy was eliminated by the Air Force’s nuclear strike capability, a tool that would dominate the upcoming Cold War era into the next century and into space.

In its struggle for relevance, the Navy needed to develop a comparable nuclear strike capability. The newly formed U.S. Air Force had the B-29 and B-50 Superfortress nuclear strategic bombers. The gigantic Convair B-36, nicknamed “Peacemaker”, was soon to leap off the drawing board as the largest strategic bomber ever built. With their new “big stick” arsenal, the U.S. Air Force set out to establish new range and endurance flight records that proved American bombers could strike anywhere in the world from bases in the United States.

In July 1948, the U.S. Air Force used Boeing B-29 Superfortress strategic bombers to complete a global circumnavigation in only 15 days with 8 refueling stops. It was an impressive achievement of aerial range…

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