1997 32¢ Boeing B-47 Stratojet
Classic American Aircraft
Issue Date: July 19, 1997
City: Dayton, OH
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Introduced in 1939, the first jet-powered airplane revolutionized the aviation industry. Significantly eliminating the limitations imposed by the propeller, the jet engine paved the way for increases in aircraft speed, size, and operating altitudes. But with the outbreak of World War II, further development of this new technology came to a halt as resources were poured into producing military aircraft.
Not surprisingly though, countries on both sides of the war were eager to take advantage of the jet engine. And finally in 1943, Boeing, in response to U.S. Army Air Force interest in a turbojet-powered bomber, began preliminary studies into creating such an aircraft. The result was Model 450, better known as the Stratojet.
Incredible for its time, the B-47 Stratojet featured six engines, sweptback wings, a bombardier’s station in the nose, remote-controlled tail armament, and two groups of nine Aerojet JATO rocket units to provide extra thrust for takeoff. Making its first flight on December 17, 1947, this high-performance bomber entered service in the early 1950s, equipping a large part of the USAF’s Strategic Air Command. Modified for Tactical Air Command and later for weather reconnaissance, the last B-47s in service were retired in 1969.