“Tall Man 55”: B-58 Hustler supersonic bomber propaganda movie aimed at scaring the Soviets during the Cold War

Straight from the Cold War.

The following is an interesting ’60s propaganda movie about the Convair B-58 Hustler whose purpose was to raise the awareness of the Americans about the U.S. Air Force operations (“jet noise is the sound of freedom” kind of message) and, above all, to scare the Soviets with footage of the Strategic Air Command‘s first supersonic bomber capable of Mach 2.

Although it may seem ages away, the basic procedures used half a century ago during the Cold War are more or less the same that would be used today by the current U.S. fleet of heavy bombers.

H/T to Leonardo Ferrazzi for the heads-up

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. When I was a young pup, there were B-58s attaqched to the 305th Bombardment Wing at Bunker hill AFB (now Grissom AFB) in Indiana. I lived in a northern Chicago suburb and it was fairly common to hear a sonic boom as these aircraft carried out training flights. We rarely saw the B-58s as Air force regulations in those days banned supersonic flight below 35,000 ft, occassionally a contrail.
    This is why I* find it amusing when your column ran an article on the outcry generated in Britain when two RAF Typhoons were scrambled for a suspected hijacking and the aircraft went supersonic.

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