Good ol’ American know how!
posted on 04/15/2012 6:37:07 PM PDT
(Just because someone thinks it's a good idea doesn't make it legal.)
Always loved watching them take off from Carswell AFB in Ft Worth. Two B-52s, followed by a KC-135. Their saggy wings would gradually lift as they reached take off speed. Hard to see much after that, though. Buffers were pretty smoky.
posted on 04/15/2012 6:38:22 PM PDT
I’m sure she was a fine bird in her time, but I’m also pretty sure she should have been retired L-O-N-G ago.
posted on 04/15/2012 6:40:37 PM PDT
by The Duke
posted on 04/15/2012 6:42:28 PM PDT
(Trust in God, question everyone else)
>>Along with the ICBM, it was one of the defining pieces of military technology during the Cold War: the B-52 bomber.
Hey, what about the SSBN, which is the only leg of the strategic deterrent triad still viable?!?
41 for Freedom!
posted on 04/15/2012 6:45:02 PM PDT
(Sic semper tyrannis)
posted on 04/15/2012 6:56:35 PM PDT
by the invisib1e hand
(I think in about 5 - no, 4 - years I'll have had enough.)
That feat of longevity reflects both regular maintenance and timely upgrades
There are other factors as well ... the "H" BUFF, or "Cadillac" was the penultimate penetration version of the type. It was optimized for low-level operations from the start, with a stronger wing and fuselage structure than it's older sisters.
Additionally, it entered service after the bomber-leg of the triad had switched from airborne alert (many planes in the air, loaded with nukes, at all times) to ground-based alert - so most of the "H" fleet spent the first 2/3rds of their careers mostly on the ground being pampered, rather than racking up flight hours. Besides missing airborne alert (which saw the wings flown off the earlier marks up to the "G", as well as the B-47 fleet) the "H" also didn't see service in Vietnam or Desert Storm (aside: whenever Libs used to gloat that the B-1B didn't see service in Desert Storm, the quick/easy response was that it was sitting nuke alert just like all the "H" model BUFFs -- it was the "G" that went to war).
So when the "H"s switched to the conventional mission with the retirement of the "G"s in the 1990s, there was this near-perfect convergence of chronologically "old" but very low-flight-time, exceptionally strong airframes that were generally flying missions (combat or training) at a much higher altitude (since the low-level penetration mission is long-gone) then they were designed for - which further served to limit airframe fatigue.
The same thing is true of both the B-1B and the B-2A fleet btw. Those aircraft were optimized for low-level performance as well and their current operational usage means that we'll get a heck of a lot more flight hours out of them than originally projected.
posted on 04/15/2012 7:33:10 PM PDT
(Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
posted on 04/15/2012 7:52:28 PM PDT
by Slings and Arrows
(You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
It is an amazing airplane.
Can you imagine the day when it is still flying and there isn't anyone who was alive on the day they first took flight?
posted on 04/15/2012 7:54:19 PM PDT
(Liberty and Justice for ALL)
To: Travis McGee; Squantos
posted on 04/15/2012 8:00:27 PM PDT
(The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
"Sixty years on, the B-52 is still going strong"
I've a friend who was in Nam. He told stories about how he would wake up sometimes because he could feel the ground shake from carpet bombing by what he called Beefers. He said it was strange because sometimes you would feel it before you hear it and sometimes you wouldn't hear it at all but definitely feel it.
posted on 04/15/2012 8:09:55 PM PDT
by Mad Dawgg
(If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
From a buddy of mine, drawn in the late 80's, when we were both flying B-52s. . .
posted on 04/15/2012 8:36:07 PM PDT
(The Energizer Border: I **DARE** you to cross it. . . .)
Never, ever felt anxiety.
Just immense pride and the B-52 was a VERY big symbol of that.
Fly on, BUFF.
I had just started out as a junior engineer back in the early 80's. I was doing a project at Ellsworth. During the briefing and safety meeting I was lectured firmly about OpSec. Do not cross the painted line. If you must then two will assist you. If you cross without the two then another one will shoot you.
It was a great honor to be there even though I kept wanting to say yes sir with emphasis.
posted on 04/16/2012 12:58:53 AM PDT
by PA Engineer
(Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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