Rare Cold War bomber coming to Atwater’s “Castle Air Museum”

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Bombers, planes at work during the second World War.

That war led to an arms race over nuclear power between the U.S. and the Soviets, but aviation experts say another plane that flew at supersonic speeds, twice the speed of sound, was a star player.

“It played a very key role in the Cold War, as did the B-52,” Castle Air Museum Executive Officer Joe Pruzzo said.

The B-58 “Hustler.” 

“It’s about 97 feet long, nose to tail,” Pruzzo said. “They set records almost on a daily basis.” 

The museum has a small model of the B-58, soon, they’ll have a real one, which will fill a lot outside and be about a third of the size of this B-52.

It’s coming to the museum the second week of August.

Pruzzo says the model the museum’s getting, flew at twice the speed of sound for 32 minutes, according to records.

To get it to Atwater, is no easy task.

The bomber’s wings will be taken off and brought here in three trucks.

“Permits, pilot cars, and so on, from Illinois to here, to Atwater, is about $100,000, just for the transport,” Pruzzo said.

Pruzzo says, it’s been on the museum’s “dream list” about thirty years, and took lots of convincing to bring the artifact.

But to have the history brought out of a photo, out of a book and right in front of visitor’s eyes, to Pruzzo, is worth every cent. 

You can actually watch the plane as it’s reassembled come August. 

The total cost for travel, re-assembly, restoration and maintenance will be close to $200,000. 

Reporting in Fresno, Megan Rupe. 

For more on how you can donate to the museum, visit: https://www.castleairmuseum.org/

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