THE B-58 HUSTLER ASSOCIATION IS COMPOSED OF AN ELITE GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS WHO DESIGNED, BUILT, FLEW, MAINTAINED AND SUPPORTED THE B-58 -- PLUS THE FAMILIES OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS. WE ALSO HAVE MEMBERS WHO SIMPLY LOVE AND ADMIRE THE B-58. THIS PAGE IS HERE TO REPRESENT THOSE INDIVIDUALS.
Individuals who were formerly associated with the B-58 Hustler, in order to perpetuate their friendship and to promote further fellowship, and for the mutual benefit of themselves and their families, hereby establish the Association.
The Association mails out a newsletter to all members, approximately two times a year. It contains a variety of information about members.
If you have questions about membership please contact: Rich Bolcer, B-58 Hustler Association Secretary
PRESIDENT - BJ BROWN
VICE-PRESIDENT - JERRY ANDERSON
SECRETARY - RICH BOLCER
TREASURER - KEN ARCHIBALD
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - HAROLD RUMZEK
DIRECTORS
ALEX BREWER
FRED DARLING
DENNIE DARNELL
ED JOHNSON
DARRELL SCHMIDT
ROGER SCHWARZENBACH



The Convair B-58 Hustler was the first operational jet bomber capable of sustained Mach 2+ supersonic flight. The aircraft was developed for the United States Air Force during the 1950s, and would see service in the Strategic Air Command (SAC). Originally intended to fly at high altitudes and high speeds to avoid Soviet fighters, the introduction of highly accurate Soviet surface-to-air missiles forced the B-58 into a low-level penetration role that severely limited its range and strategic value. The B-58 was operational from 1960 - 1970. (The B-36 was operational from 1948 - 1958. The B-47 was operational from 1954 - 1965)
The B-58 received a great deal of notoriety due to its sonic boom, which was often heard by the public as it passed overhead in supersonic flight.

On December 15, 1959, a B-58 was flown 1,680 miles in 80 minutes. (That's 21 miles per minute!)
Combat ready B-58s set more records than any fighter or bomber aircraft in the world -- which is a record in itself!
The B-58 won five aeronautical trophies: Thompson, Bleriot, Mackay, Bendix and Harmon. The Hustler also set 14 world speed records in international competition.
On September 18, 1962, a Hustler carried a payload of 11,000 lbs to an altitude of 85,360 feet. Many of the Hustler's records are still intact today

Pilot - Major Henry J. Deutschendorf, Sr., DSO - Captain Raymond R. Wagener, Navigator/Bombardier - Captain William L. Polhemus stand in front of their Hustler
On January 12, 1961, they flew B-58 #442 two times around a closed circuit 1000 kilometer course at Edwards AFB, CA. It carried ballasts of 2,000 kilograms (kg) and therefore received credit for setting record speeds with zero, 1,000 kg and 2,000 kg weights for each of the 1,000 and 2,000 kilometer distances. They set six new world speed records.
The crew of Major Henry J. Deutschendorf, Jr., Captain William L. Polhemus and Captain Raymond R. Wagener were each presented the Distinguished Flying Cross for their record setting accomplishments.

On January 14, 1961, a B-58 set three international "speed-with payload" records by flying 1284.73 mph over a 1000-km closed circuit. The crew of Lt. Col. Harold Confer, Lt. Col. Richard Weir and Major Howard Bialas were awarded the Thompson Trophy for this feat. Crew Chief was SSgt Charles Kerce, Jr.

Another record was achieved by the Hustler on May 10, 1961. A B-58, crewed by Maj. Elmer Murphy, Maj. Eugene Moses, and Lt. David Dickerson, flew a 669.4 mile closed course at an average speed of 1,302.07 mph for 30 minutes 43 seconds -- winning outright the prestigious Bleriot Trophy. The Bleriot Trophy is on permanent display at the United States Air Force Academy in their library.

On May 26, 1961, B-58 #59-2451, nicknamed The Firefly, enroute to the Paris Airshow with Maj. William Payne, Capt. William Polhelmus, and Capt. Raymond Wagener as crew, set a New York-to-Paris speed record, covering the 3,626.46 statute miles in 3 hours 19 minutes and 58 seconds, for an average speed was approximately 1,089.36 mph. The crew was awarded the prestigious Harmon Trophy (L) and Mackay Trophy (R) for this flight.

On March 05, 1962, Captains Robert G. Sowers, Robert MacDonald and John T. Walton flew a B-58 from Los Angeles to New York City in 2 hours and 56.8 seconds, an average speed of 1,214.17 miles per hour. For this achievement each crew member was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
They broke another speed record on the return flight - New York to Los Angeles in 2 hours and 15 minutes (Many had tried but they were the first fliers to beat the sun).
They also beat the record for the roundtrip flight (LA to NY to LA). Captain Sowers and his crew flew non-stop from Los Angles to New York and back again in 4 hours, 41 minutes, at an average speed of 1,045 mph. For this record setting flight the crew won both the Bendix Trophy (L) and the Mackay Trophy (R).

In 1962, Major Fitzhugh "Fitz" Fulton Jr flew a B-58 with a 5,000 kilogram payload to an altitude of 85,360 feet, breaking the record held by a Soviet pilot. Fitz won the Harmon International Aviation Trophy for "Outstanding Individual Achievement" that year; this record remains unchallenged as of May 1995. (Major Fulton flew the B-58 to more than 16 miles up into the atmosphere.)

On Oct. 16, 1963, Maj. Sid Kubesch, Maj John Barrett and Capt Gerard Williamson flew a B-58, assigned to the 305th BW, on the longest supersonic flight to that date. The flight was called Operation Greased Lightning. They flew 8,028 miles from Tokyo to London in eight hours, 35 minutes. Using five inflight refuelings they averaged 938 mph. Although there were no aeronautical trophies awarded for this flight each crew member was awarded the DFC . Major Kubesch received the David C. Schilling Award in 1964.
61-2059 is on display at the Strategic Air Command Museum, located at Ashland, Nebraska.

A pilot once said of the Convair B-58, "She looked like she was breaking the sound barrier just sitting on the tarmac."  At Mach 2+, the B-58 wasn't just the fastest bomber of her day, she was one of the fastest military planes period. A first cousin of the hot "century series" of fighters, the delta winged Hustler medium bomber combined outstanding performance with a striking, javelin-like profile that spawned a mystique that survives to this day. In the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, in just two years the B-58 captured 14 speed and performance records, many previously held by Soviet aircraft. She was not only capable of extended 700 mph on-the-deck missions at 500 feet (then unheard of for a bomber and without the advantages of today's ground hugging radar or fly-by-wire) she also set altitude and climb records. The B-58 was capable of doing whatever was necessary to navigate through enemy air space. As Jimmy Stewart said, "She was a lot more than a hot rod made for setting records, she was a lethal weapon of war -- and an outstandingly handsome aircraft."

The above statements were copied from an unknown book or magazine a long time ago. They were kept because they described the B-58 quite accurately. Many people don't know that the B-58 carried five nuclear weapons and she would have been a lethal weapon of war. The Russians probably knew that SAC had 40 B-58s sitting on alert - which meant 200 nuclear weapons would be headed their way if they wanted to play "war".

It's worth mentioning that the B-58 got a reputation early on as being a dangerous airplane. There were 116 aircraft built and 26 were destroyed. Many accidents were attributable to crew member errors and didn't need to have happened. There were approximately 11 in that catagory. So, how and where the B-58 got the reputation as being a "dangerous" airplane is unknown. Good pilots, good navigator/bombardiers, good DSOs, good training and good maintenance made the B-58 a damn good weapon system!

Those who were associated with the B-58 loved the Hustler then and they love her now - she was fast, she was beautiful and she was a hoot to fly! Many, including myself, consider their time with the B-58 as the high point of their USAF career!

LtCol BJ Brown, USAF, Retired


Answers to the questions I'm most asked:

"How did the main and nose gear fit into the small spaces on the B-58?"

Main Gear Operation
Nose Gear Operation

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