Sunday, November 6, 2011

B-36 RESTRICTED Report - Optima's Cold War Redux

A priceless bit of Cold War Ephemera
Love the cartoon.  At one point in time, letting this book out into the wild probably would have resulted in many years in the Leavenworth Disciplinary Baracks. 
The B-36 was one of the largest airplanes ever built.  It was literally a flying fortress with multiple gun turrets.  The Maintenance Digest details adjustments to make the guns work right while limiting their ability to shoot something off the host airplane.  The drawing is luscious.  Can't you just picture this inside an Oliver?
I scanned some representative drawings.  The text is wonderful and full of descriptive language on how to properly warm up the vacuum tubes in the Thyratron Controller.  This was way before integrated circuits.
I like working with electrical circuits.  I can't say I'm that good with them, but at least I can understand visible circuitry.
I love our paranoid typewriter friends.  They remind me of the Spy vs. Spy cartoons from Mad Magazine.

More information than you can possibly want to know about the B-36 bomber is located on Wikipedia and the Interweb at large.  Yes, they really did have a nuclear powered prototype.  They flew it cross country over America.  It's almost like they were trying to help the Soviets, but the Cold War was a different era and a little radiation couldn't get in the way of national defense. 

This is one of my favorite old technical documents.  One reason is exclusivity:  how many of these could actually have been made?  Most should have been shredded.

This particular copy I found mixed with auto parts on a vendor's table at an automotive swap meet in Lawrence, Kansas.  So exciting to find something this nerdy in the wild!  There were and are substantial air bases in Kansas as well as multiple aerospace producers.  Perhaps someone brought this classified document home as a souvenir.  I'll never know how it came to be at a swap meet, but I'm glad I found it.


  1. So the Oliver tries both to eliminate key choppers and gain world domination? Optima Elite, in mood for a flight to the US? There's something interesting going on there.
    Fascinating manual. I own a "Space Shuttle Operator's manual."

  2. Oh my, so beautiful. Please, please, scan it all and share!!!

  3. Wow... fantastic. Please, please, scan it all and share!!!


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