Save the XB-47

  1. XB-47 Stratojet (46-066)

    XB-47 (46-066) is back home at Edwards AFB! Thanks to the support of many and to a generous grant from the Boeing Corporation, we have been able to contract with Worldwide Aircraft Recovery to disassemble, transport and reassemble this treasured aircraft. We do still need contributions to prepare XB-47 (46-066) for display at the Air Force Flight Test Museum. Private funds must be used to support this effort; so again, your help is very much needed. With your help, we will achieve our goal of preserving this truly historic aircraft for future generations.
    $300.00 donated

Thank you for your interest in supporting the Flight Test Historical Foundation and our efforts to raise money for the Air Force Flight Test Museum on Edwards AFB, California. As the home of the Air Force Test Center, Edwards AFB is the center of excellence for research and developmental flight test and evaluation of aerospace systems from concept to combat. It operates the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and hosts the AFRL – Rocket Lab, NASA’s Armstrong Research Center and considerable test activities conducted by America’s commercial aerospace industry. In fact, Edwards AFB has played a significant role in the development of virtually every aircraft and rocket engine to enter the Air Force inventory since World War II, and it has been the site of many aviation breakthroughs.

The mission of the Flight Test Historical Foundation is to raise the funds necessary to develop and sustain the Air Force Flight Test Museum. As a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, our fund-raising efforts focus on museum improvements, new construction, exhibits, aircraft acquisition and restoration, and educational programs. The inventory of the Flight Test Museum includes over 80 historic aircraft with every aircraft having a direct connection to Edwards AFB and flight test.

While the Flight Test Historical Foundation raises the necessary funds to help support the Air Force Flight Test Museum, some museums have not been so fortunate. The Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, Illinois, is one of those. As they close their doors, a new home must found for their aircraft, or they will be scrapped! One of those is the second prototype Boeing XB-47 Stratojet (46-066).

The Boeing B-47 was the country’s first swept-wing multi engine bomber. It represented a milestone in aviation history and a revolution in aircraft design. Every large jet aircraft today is a descendant of the B-47. The XB-47 was the prototype of this series with two aircraft built for test purposes. The first XB-47 (46-065) rolled out of the factory in Seattle on September 12, 1947. It was the first large American jet aircraft to feature a swept wing.

XB-47

The second XB-47 (46-066) flew for the first time on July 21, 1948. The Air Force formally accepted the first XB-47 on November 29, 1948. The second XB-47 was accepted a month later and on September 3, 1948 the first production order was placed for the B-47. Eventually over 2,000 B-47’s were built for the U.S. Air Force.

Both prototypes were test flown at Edwards AFB, but in 1954 the number one XB-47 (46-065) was disassembled and eventually scrapped by the Air Force, thus making the number two prototype (46-066) the sole surviving XB-47.

An effort was started last year to disassemble, move and reassemble this aircraft from Rantoul, Illinois to the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards AFB, California. Thanks to the support of many, we have raised the necessary funds to relocate this aircraft!

Now comes the task of restoring this great aircraft back to its original configuration. Private funds must be used to support this effort, so again, your help is very much needed.  With your help, we will achieve our goal of preserving this truly historic aircraft for future generations.

Thank you for helping the Foundation preserve flight test history to inspire future generations.

The Flight Test Historical Foundation is a private organization. The FTHF is not a part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no government status.