Honestly I could see this as the Air Force "answer" to the Navy's Radar blimps and a way of NOT constructing the Texas Tower radar system. The airframe could probably actually carry a rotational search radar and a pretty hefty height-finding radar though you'd essentially have to turn one of the bomb bays into a pressurized space for all the gear. Initially it would be pure "Airborne Warning" as the idea of an airborne command and control aircraft wasn't around yet. A great deal would depend on what kind of altitude the beast could reach and what kind of range and endurance it could retain.

One thing is the Air Force is going to initially be loath to pare down the system to fit into something as 'small' as a 707 but they won't have a lot of choice at first. They might choose to take a hard look at trying to pack something into a similar sized cargo airframe instead.

Randy
Surely you'd base this on the XC-99 with the massive troop-transport fuselage, rather than the stock B-36? Assuming the modifications are major enough you'd need new-build airframes rather than bolting bits on to a spare bomber. You might start off designing just a flying radar but with all that space the idea of using some of it for command and control is surely going to come along pretty quick.
 
Surely you'd base this on the XC-99 with the massive troop-transport fuselage, rather than the stock B-36? Assuming the modifications are major enough you'd need new-build airframes rather than bolting bits on to a spare bomber. You might start off designing just a flying radar but with all that space the idea of using some of it for command and control is surely going to come along pretty quick.

"Technically" you have more ex-bomber airframes to work with than XC-99's so there'd be less "incentive" initially. (Unless the XC-99 goes into operation which in and of itself is a nifty 'diversion' IMHO :) ) I think you CAN 'bolt' on the mods to the bomber airframe rather than a major rebuild. A lot depends on where you can mount the radars and what kind of electronic systems (and where) you can fit.

Randy
 

So much wastage and crappitude came out of that nonsense. Just Curtiss and Brewster alone cost the American taxpayer a half BILLION dollars, back when that was real money.
 
I present the Fábrica de Aviones Imperiales (FAI) P.23 Cuauhihhuitl (Eagle Feather) and Improved version of the FAI P.21 Cuāuhtli. The P.23 entered service in mid 1933 it would be the first fighter of the Imperial Mexican Air Armada to trade out the Radial style engine fore an inline V-12 Royals Royce Hurricane Engine which FAI produced under license. the P.23 retained the stretched fabric over a wooden frame, while the Wings were constructed of plywood over a wooden frame. This meant that the P.23 design was already showing its age when it entered squadron service. The P.23 was armed with a pair of 7mm rifle caliber machineguns in the wings and 12.3mm machineguns firing though the propeller.

The design is based off of a Fokker D.XXI with a water cooled engine and retractable landing gear.

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What is the most ridiculous plane you can dream up that could actually stand a chance at flying?
Maybe if Langley had tried to launch his contraption from a slope at the top of a hill rather than the roof of his houseboat it might have got off the ground (briefly).
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It took 4 years to build, passengers had to move to one side of the aircraft or the other to help it bank into a turn and it took 10 months to fly from Germany to New York on it's maiden international flight. I give you the aviation wonder the Dornier Do X.


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