In an era of fantastic aircraft, the B-58 Hustler was one of the most visually striking warplanes ever to fly. Its delta wing, giant engines, and remarkable performance gave rise to the myth that pilots could literally tear the wings off the bomber if they flew it too fast.
The Hustler was a direct successor to the B-47 Stratojet in the medium bomber role. Medium bombers were expected to attack the Soviet Union from overseas bases. By the time the Hustler entered service, however, the distinction between the medium and the heavy bomber had narrowed, however. The advent of aerial refueling, combined with Air Force concerns about the security of forward airbases and the concerns of U.S. allies over the deployment of strategic nuclear weapons on their territory, meant that the B-58 would operate strictly from U.S. bases.
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