Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Bomber Plane
Entering service with the USAF in 1955 replacing the Convair B-36 Peacemaker as Americas primary nuclear deterrent delivery platform. the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range strategic bomber which remains in service with the USAF even though the aircraft design is over fifty-six years old! Boeing Manufactured an estimated 744 B-52s between 1952 and 1962, eighty five B-52H bombers still remain in active service with the USAF, all are of course are over forty-six years old, far older than their air-crews who jokingly refer to the aircraft as the "Buff" ("Big Ugly Fat Fellow" or "Big Ugly Fat F*****").
It is of note that the Silver window blinds depicted in the photograph below can be shut in order to stop the pilots being blinded by the flash from an atomic explosion, the alternative was to continually fly with an eye-patch over one eye so only one eye is made blind enabling the flight crew to continue their mission with the other! The threat of nuclear blasts mainly applies to the early days of the cold-war when the Boeing B-52 was the main US nuclear delivery platform, ballistic submarines have now superseded the strategic bomber fleets. During the worst period of the "Cold war" USAF's Strategic Air Command (SAC) kept a large number of these bombers in flight, fully nuclear armed, at all times just two hours flying time away from their intended Soviet Union targets.
Boeing B-52H Stratofortress Armament:
- Guns: Single 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon in a remote controlled tail turret
- 60,000 lb (27,200 kg) of ordnance which may include conventional or nuclear bombs, missiles and mines
|Boeing B-52H Stratofortress Specifications: |
- Crew: Pilot, co-pilot, radar navigator/bombardier, navigator, and electronic warfare officer.
- Length: 159 ft 4 in (48.5 m)
- Wingspan: 185 ft 0 in (56.4 m)
- Height: 40 ft 8 in (12.4 m)
- Empty weight: 185,000 lb (83,250 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 488,000 lb (220,000 kg)
- Fuel capacity: 47,975 US gal (181,725 L)
- Combat range: 4,480 mi (3,890 NM, 7,210 km)
- Engines: Eight 17,000 lbf (76 kN) Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3/103 turbofans
- Maximum speed: 560 kt (650 mph, 1,000 km/h)
- Service ceiling 50,000 ft (17,000 m)
- Rate of climb: 6,270 ft/min (31.85 m/s)
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
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