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B-52 celebrates 60 Years
USAF Global Strike Command ^ | 4/11/2012 | Staff Sgt. Brian Stives & Megan Meyer

Posted on 04/11/2012 8:58:30 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

B-52 celebrates 60 Years

by Staff Sgt. Brian Stives and Megan Meyer

Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

4/10/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Air Force Global Strike Command will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the B-52 Stratofortress on April 15, 1952. This flight was made by the YB-52 prototype in Seattle.

Air Force Global Strike Command will commemorate the airframe's anniversary with events centered around the theme: "The B-52: An Icon of American Airpower."

During the celebratory campaign, AFGSC will recognize the heritage and accomplishments of the B-52 and the people - both past and present - responsible for the development, acquisition, operation, maintenance and security of the weapon system.

The B-52's long and rich heritage is illustrated by stories of families who have up to three generations of Airmen who worked on the B-52, such as 1st Lt. Daniel Welch, a B-52 co-pilot at Minot. Welch is a third-generation crew member on the airframe.

According to Welch, his grandfather flew every B-52 model and commanded Welch's current squadron at Minot, the 23rd Bomb Squadron. Welch's father was also a B-52 crew member during his time in the Air Force.

Through the course of the year, the Command will highlight the history of deterrence and combat capabilities the B-52 has provided through its distinguished career, in conflicts from Vietnam to Operation Enduring Freedom.

Some accomplishments to be highlighted throughout the year include:

April 15, 1952 - The first flight of the YB-52 Stratofortress will be commemorated with a long-duration flight from AFGSC Headquarters at Barksdale.

May 10 through Oct. 23, 1972 - Operation Linebacker - Linebacker was the first continuous bombing effort conducted against North Vietnam since the bombing halt instituted by President Lyndon B. Johnson in November 1968.

June 18, 1965 - Operation Arc Light - The first use of the B-52D Stratofortress as a conventional bomber from bases in the U.S. to Guam to support ground combat operations in Vietnam.

Aug. 2, 1994 - B-52's first round-the-world bombing mission.

Oct. 26, 1962 - Strategic Air Command received the last B-52 from production line

Dec. 18 through 29, 1972 - Operation Linebacker II - This operation saw the largest heavy bomber strikes launched by the U.S. Air Force since the end of World War II.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; b52; boeing; usaf

1 posted on 04/11/2012 8:58:34 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Speaking as someone who knows absolutely nothing about airplanes (and feel free to criticize) - shouldn’t we have something newer/better by now?

Why haven’t all these been replaced by the B-2?


2 posted on 04/11/2012 9:03:51 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: sukhoi-30mki

HEAVY METAL!!!!

Delivering the goods since 1952!


3 posted on 04/11/2012 9:04:05 PM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Computers apparently can’t beat a well handled sliderule.


4 posted on 04/11/2012 9:04:39 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: sukhoi-30mki

And it seems like just yesterday they were singing “Rock Lobster.”


5 posted on 04/11/2012 9:06:23 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: Jack Hammer

The B1 and B2 were pretty good — but you have to face physics. Thrust to weight to capacity to speed eventually are variables that can only be tweaked.

We had in the USA in that era the aircraft equivalent of the Founding Fathers of the USA. People who grasped physics and engineering and took them to their limits — in a very short time.

After a certain point, everything is incremental until a fundamental change is found (like anti-gravity).


6 posted on 04/11/2012 9:10:21 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: Jack Hammer

For the same reason, the DC-3 is still flying: Damned good design. I once worked near Wichita Fllls, TX, Every day going to work I would drive past the B-52s lined up on the runway at Shepard AFB. Man what power they exuded. And the men flying them were the elite of the USAF.


7 posted on 04/11/2012 9:14:27 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Jack Hammer
Your question is reasonable, and some USAF BUFF vets might chime in with corrections; however,

IIRC, it would be too expensive to replace the B-52 with a new, similar airplane when these ones just keep going.

I suspect that replacing with the B-1 Lancer (the "Bone") makes more sense than replacing with the B-2, when it gets to that. I also suspect that there are perpetual Pentagon committees debating this topic on an ongoing basis.

.

8 posted on 04/11/2012 9:17:14 PM PDT by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: Jack Hammer
The B52 was made in a era in the USA when we still had people who could invent and bring to fruition plans and equipment in a short time and as cheaply as possible. That time is passed in this country and anything we build costs a fortune to make and sometimes it is not very well made also.

We have a fairly large B1B Lancer force of bombers, but very few B2s. So far nothing that can equal the all around capability of the B52. They have all been upgraded electronically and in other ways. What we need is a new bomber that performs like the B52, with a reasonable cost.

9 posted on 04/11/2012 9:18:33 PM PDT by calex59
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To: freedumb2003

As in the translation from sail to steam, and the development of the battleship ending with the likes of the Missouri. People do have a magical notion of physics, but we are still building on the physics of a hundred years ago.


10 posted on 04/11/2012 9:19:53 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Jack Hammer
The B-52 is reliable and relatively cheap to fly and maintain, and it carries an immense load that commonly includes modern precision bombs and missiles.

In contrast, the B-2 has finicky stealth coatings that make it absurdly expensive to fly and maintain, it carries a much smaller conventional bomb load; and, with only 20 B-2s available, it is best reserved for missions that require stealth.

In effect, the B-2 is the shiny new luxury car that you keep in the garage and drive only on special occasions, while the B-52 is the old SUV that you use everyday because of its size and versatility.

11 posted on 04/11/2012 9:19:56 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: Jack Hammer

The B-1b Lancer was supposed to replace it. It can carry twice the ordnance payload and fly 327mph faster than the B-52 at their top speeds.

The B-2 stealth bomber was also supposed to replace it.


12 posted on 04/11/2012 9:21:01 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: calex59

Good history. The B-52 was the end product of twenty years of engineering. Some of the engineers who worked on the first Boeing bombers undoubtedly contributed to the B-52. As my dad said, no substitute for experience, and when they retired they were replaced by men who had never got their clothes dirty.


13 posted on 04/11/2012 9:27:03 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Seaplaner; All

When did they produce the last B-52s?


14 posted on 04/11/2012 9:27:17 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month.)
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To: freedumb2003
And it seems like just yesterday...

Sputter, uh....what....huh?

15 posted on 04/11/2012 9:30:07 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

The year before I was born, 1962 was the last production year.


16 posted on 04/11/2012 9:37:28 PM PDT by Despot of the Delta
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

Wiki has a nice graphic on b-52 models v production year. The H models (last ones produced) were made in 61-63. They made just over a hundred of the Hs.


17 posted on 04/11/2012 9:37:58 PM PDT by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
See the story in Greg Goebel's Air Vectors. Fair warning: once you go in you will spend a lot of time browsing all he has there. Enjoy!
18 posted on 04/11/2012 9:48:25 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Steyn: Obama sez: "Nice little Supreme Court you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it.")
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

>>Sputter, uh....what....huh?<<

I take it back! It WAS yesterday!

(aren’t you supposed to star on Lobsterman or some other Deadliest Catch derivative...?)

;)


19 posted on 04/11/2012 10:41:18 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: RobbyS

>>As in the translation from sail to steam, and the development of the battleship ending with the likes of the Missouri. People do have a magical notion of physics, but we are still building on the physics of a hundred years ago.
<<

Yes we are, but you can see other comments on the downsides.

Gravity is 32 f/s^2 — until about 100 years ago, it was impossible to overcome things like friction, aerodynamics, etc.

Look at the SR-71. Given current knowledge of physics and engineering, there will never be a better plane. It exactly balanced all the known forces on a razor’s edge.

I am not saying there won’t be something better someday. I am saying that we pushed the envelope as close to the edge that we need a new fundamental change to overcome the diminishing returns level we have hit.

But I agree that a lot of it is will. We sent men to the moon using 1/1000 of the computing power in your smartphone. Now, we walk away from space travel saying “it is too hard.”

I am giving credit where credit is due and pointing out the distance between, say, a B-24 and a B-52.

But it frustrates me as well that we have stopped pushing (see the political destruction of the F-35 and the political knife in the back of the F-22).


20 posted on 04/11/2012 10:51:09 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: sukhoi-30mki

The B.U.F.F is my lifetime favorite. Just a big heap of awesomeness.

A fading symbol of the land of my birth.


21 posted on 04/11/2012 11:03:02 PM PDT by myheroesareDeadandRegistered
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To: sukhoi-30mki
For those who might wonder what might have happened if there had either been NO
B-52, or if a different design had been embraced?

Behold the Consolidated Vultee YB-60, CONVAIR's proposed successor to the B-36:

22 posted on 04/11/2012 11:13:21 PM PDT by mkjessup (Finley Peter Dunne- "Politics ain't beanbag")
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To: sukhoi-30mki

23 posted on 04/12/2012 12:11:51 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Liberty Valance

24 posted on 04/12/2012 12:14:49 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Liberty Valance

25 posted on 04/12/2012 12:17:15 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: RobbyS

Back in the mid 60s, I worked at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota. One of our jobs was located next to the runway fence. To see those 52s doing touch and goes was awe inspiring. The power as they accelerated (at a seemingly impossible angle) was chill producing.


26 posted on 04/12/2012 5:15:49 AM PDT by Straight8
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To: freedumb2003; Surrounded_too; RobbyS; Seaplaner; calex59; Rockingham; Jack Hydrazine

Thanks - I didn’t know any of that.


27 posted on 04/12/2012 6:00:03 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: ROCKLOBSTER
Oct. 26, 1962 - Strategic Air Command received the last B-52 from production line
28 posted on 04/12/2012 7:43:56 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: Straight8
The maneuverablity of these giant plane is astonishing. But of course even with commercial airlines it is something else. Yes, ago, I was on a flight when some dumb private pilot strayed right into the path of the plane I was on as we were aappraching (737). To avoid a collision, the pilot pulled up and away, after yelling, hold on!Man, no carnival ride could match that turn. Luckily even the flight attendents were buckled in.
29 posted on 04/12/2012 10:00:45 AM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Straight8
The maneuverablity of these giant plane is astonishing. But of course even with commercial airlines it is something else. Yes, ago, I was on a flight when some dumb private pilot strayed right into the path of the plane I was on as we were aappraching (737). To avoid a collision, the pilot pulled up and away, after yelling, hold on!Man, no carnival ride could match that turn. Luckily even the flight attendents were buckled in.
30 posted on 04/12/2012 10:01:00 AM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: Jack Hammer
Why haven’t all these been replaced by the B-2?

The B-52 was built during the era of the Cold War fighting the Red Menace. As a result, over 700 of them were built.

Subsequent aircraft such as the B-1B and the B-2A were built to replace the B-52 in the most critical roles of nuclear deterrent, but they were very expensive.

With so many B-52s in inventory, they can be used very cheaply where payload is more important than deep penetration over hostile territory.

I believe we're down to under 100 active B-52s, so they all will eventually wear out, but no need to replace them all if they're still flyable and can perform a certain mission at a lower cost than buying a new aircraft.

31 posted on 04/12/2012 10:26:52 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: freedumb2003

War gives urgency to things. The story of the B-29 is instructive. It went to drawing board to operational in about five years. A light year ahead of the B-17. Much the same for the P.51. The Germans leap=frogged all this with the jet. Thank God that Hitler rushed the invasion of the Soviet Union. With two more years to build up and improve his arsenal, I am pretty sure that Goering would have had had operational jets in the skies. We would have still be fighting that war in 1950.


32 posted on 04/12/2012 6:28:36 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: RobbyS
Man, no carnival ride could match that turn.

The Boeing 707 does a barrel roll on (or one of) its first flight(s).

33 posted on 04/13/2012 12:27:26 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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