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Operation UPSHOT-KNOTHOLE, Nevada Proving Grounds, March-June 1953. Project 5.2. Atomic Weapon Effects on B-50 Type Aircraft in Flight,
AIR FORCE FLIGHT DYNAMICS LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Project 5.2 was established to determine minimum operational parameters for delivery of atomic weapons from medium bombardment aircraft. Three B-50D airplanes were selected and instrumented for the measurement of peak overpressure, thermal radiation and wing tip deflection. One of the airplanes was further instrumented for the measurement of wing, fuselage, and stabilizer bending moments, angular and linear accelerations and elevator positions. A flight pattern was established so that the positions of the three B-50s simulated the position which would be occupied by a bomb-dropping airplane relative to the point of detonation of the weapon. Gust loading of the horizontal stabilizer was determined to be the limiting structural parameter of the B-50 airplane for delivery of atomic weapons. Sufficiently precise and extensive data concerning the effects of atomic weapons on the B-50 were obtained to enable accurate definitions of general operational parameters for delivery of atomic weapons with this airplane.