Bears were used in test flights of world’s first supersonic jet bomber

When the U.S. Air Force was designing its first supersonic jet bomber in the 1950s, it turns out bears were an essential part of the process, helping to test the plane’s new ejection seats during the Cold War, according to i09.com.

The website has put together a summary of the role bears played in testing the supersonic Convair B-58 Hustler. Apparently, because Himalayan and American black bears are reasonably close in size to humans, they were deemed acceptable substitutes, after a team of humans died in an early ejection test.

via Bears were used in test flights of world’s first supersonic jet bomber | The Sideshow – Yahoo! News.

I knew about the capsules, but didn’t know they’d live-fire tested them on bears.

Can you just imagine the howls from PETA if they did that today?

 

7 thoughts on “Bears were used in test flights of world’s first supersonic jet bomber”

    1. I imagine they gave him the hypo before they got him out of the cage.

      The AF never did like WOs. My father was working to become one when they killed them. The AF really shot itself in the foot when it did that. For years they used the WO test for advancement to E-8 & 9. Really irritated a lot of the senior NCOs back in the 50s and early 60s.

      I spent about 3 hours next to retired AF Pilot (A-10 driver) who thought the AF would eventually be forced to take on WOs again. He didn’t like my idea of transferring TacAir to the Army though 🙂

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