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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 153804
Last updated: 15 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic b50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing EB-50A Superfortress
Owner/operator:AFFTC /ARDC USAF (AFFTC /ARDC United States Air Force)
Registration: 46-006
MSN: 15726
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Edwards AFB, California -   United States of America
Phase: Standing
Departure airport:Edwards AFB, CA
Destination airport:
This aircraft was orginally built as B-50A-5-BO, but later converted to a EB-50B as carrier for the Bell X-1 experimental plane

After a captive flight to test the propellant jettison system, the EB-50A landed back at Edwards AFB with X-1-3 "Queenie" (46-064) still attached as its pilot Joe Cannon was prevented from jettisoning the propellants by a loss of nitrogen source pressure. The nitrogen was repressurized while the aircraft was parked away from the others on the flightline, but the X-1 exploded when its pilot began to pressurize the liquid oxygen tank. Joe Cannon immediately jumped from the plane but was badly burned before he could be pulled clear. Both aircraft were completely destroyed by the fire.

The cause of the explosion was the use of ulmer leather gaskets in conjunction with liquid oxygen. Paraffin residue from the gaskets in the liquid oxygen tank provided the fuel for the explosions which were triggered by the impulse of tank pressurization. Two more aircraft and two lives were lost before this was discovered.


Revision history:

06-Mar-2013 08:42 Tetrapack Added
21-May-2021 09:23 siczak Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Operator]

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