The Boeing Model 450 B-47 Stratojet was a long-range, six-engined, jet-powered medium bomber built to fly at high subsonic speeds and at high altitudes. It was primarily designed to drop nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. With its engines carried in pods under the swept wing, the B-47 was a major innovation in post-World War II combat jet design, and helped lead to modern jet airliners.
The B-47 entered service with the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command (SAC) in 1951. It never saw combat as a bomber, but was a mainstay of SAC's bomber strength during the 1950s and early 1960s, and remained in use as a bomber until 1965. It was also adapted to a number of other missions, including photo reconnaissance, electronic intelligence and weather reconnaissance, remaining in service as a reconnaissance platform until 1969 and as a testbed until 1977.
The USAF Strategic Air Command operated B-47 Stratojets (B-47s, EB-47s, RB-47s and YRB-47s) from 1951 through 1965.
When B-47s began to be delivered to the Air Force, most crews were excited about getting their hands on the hot new bomber, an aircraft whose performance was closer to that of jet fighters of the period than SAC's extant B-36 Peacemaker bomber. The B-47 was so fast that in the early days the aircraft set records with ease. The aircraft handled well in flight, with a fighter-like light touch to the controls. The large bubble canopy for the pilot and co-pilot enhanced the fighter-like feel of the aircraft with improved vision, but the design would also cause variations in internal temperatures for the three-man crew.