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Sixty years on, the B-52 is still going strong

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The iconic aircraft of the Cold War made its debut flight in 1952. The Air Force says the bomber could easily still be flying in the year 2040. That feat of longevity reflects both regular maintenance and timely upgrades ... and to the astronomical costs of the next-generation bombers that have followed the B-52 into service with the Air Force. (news.cnet.com) עוד...

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preacher1
preacher1 7
Just goes to show that just because something is old, it may still be good. Anything well built will last if maintained.
jimquinndallas
Jim Quinn 3
Yep--I am a living example!
preacher1
preacher1 1
Me too, Jim.LOL
jimquinndallas
Jim Quinn 3
Here in Longview, TX, we're directly below the western approach path where the BUFFs descend into the Shreveport area about 50 miles east. I assume that they're returning from training flights out in west TX mostly, but I'm sure they can be returning from just about anywhere. Beautiful! I can always tell when it's a BUFF: slow, fairly low, lovely multi-jet song. Yep--I can always tell, then I trot outside to take a look!
N54GP
N54GP 2
Live in North Bossier directly below the turn for final. Talk about demand attention. These babies scream POWER, literally!
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
B-52 has always been my favorite bomber of all time. This plane has accomplished more than any other. I has had 3 generations of the same family to fill the Captains Seat. High Level, Low Level... What ever you want it will adapt. In just 5 years it will be able to collect Social Security.. Hope it last that long and well beyond.
R123154
RICK HUGHES 2
Forgot to say, love the BUFF.
GolfSierra
Mark Gillians 2
Had one of those suckers pass the "Hold Short Line" and stick the nose on to the active runway. When Ground Control called him on it he actually BACKED THAT SUCKER UP. UNREAL!
TWA55
TWA55 1
By the way, nothing ugly about this plane, it's a gem
R123154
RICK HUGHES 1
I bet when they started calling it BUFF they never knew it would mean Big Ugly Futuristic Fellow.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Yeah, I doubt that "FUTURISTIC" is what they had in mind.LOL
R123154
RICK HUGHES 1
Me also.I know what BUFF originally meant but can't put it on here.But I have to say to this day when I see one I am amazed.A good friend of mine worked on them in Vietnam and swore by this plane.He often spoke of the amount of missions they flew and their reliability " in the field".
soday
Sean O'Day 1
How did he work on them in Vietnam? They were based on Guam.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Sean: not sure of where they were based but during the late 60's and early 70's, "VIETNAM" took in a wide area. Lot's of places had a direct support role in that mess, whether you were stationed in country or not. If you were in one of those places you were generally there because of 'Nam and no other reason.
soday
Sean O'Day 1
I was in Vietnam and I don't think any of us thought those "other places" were 'Nam.
rick737
richard weiss 1
It would be nice to live as long as the Buf
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, I have so far, barely but 2040 will a stretch.LOL
tbpera
tbpera 1
spent an afternoon at Takli in 1968 watching buffs take off for N Viet Nam-- when we were flying they'd move our orbits back towards Thailand so the buffs could bomb the Ho Chi Minh trail - groups of 3 would fly over -- we could see the bombs tracking through the jungle below... majestic..
preacher1
preacher1 1
Lots of memories from that part of the world. Some good, but most not so. I was there in 71. Flight medic on tankers working out of S.Korea.We would RON at Cam Rhan Bay or DaNang, refuel the bird and do it all again. Been on top of many of the BUFFS and Phantoms as well. Gas guzzlers and smokers as they were, I always thought they should have done the
F-4's like they did the buffs. If they couldn't shoot something down, they could always outrun it.lol
tbpera
tbpera 1
ooops I meant U-Tapao, not Takli....
rick737
richard weiss 1
We knew what you met
rick737
richard weiss 1
We called them "ARC LIGHT". When the BUF's were inbound we would get a 15 minute warning to clear the airspace. It was a mind numbing spectacle. A mile long column of black rising smoke rising well above our helicopters altitude. When we got the all clear, our scouting missions reveiled very few living things, including humans. I can't imagine what it have like to have been under those falling bombs. It's goes without saying I'm glad they were on my side.
tbpera
tbpera 1
saw the same thing from 15-18,000 feet above... always wondered if they really hit anything but must have had a huge psychological effect... we helped find trucks and monitored the trail
erau2011
Wesley White 1
A father and his son (both of whom were B52 pilots, the father who flew the B52 when it first came out) were comparing logbooks one day. Come to find out, they both logged flight time in the same exact B52, though many years apart. Pretty interesting story.
rdzr1
rdzr1 1
One of the all time great planes but it really says something about our government, military and defense industry that we are still flying airplanes this old. Maybe we can get the Confedrate Air Force to crew these things after all they're pretty much antiques.
JJ7
JJ Johnson 1
USAF SAC 32150K Bomb Navigation System Specialist on the B-52G 1977 to 1981. Still love that bird.
cverbil
cverbil 1
Wow...Bomb Nav. I was a Photo troop (40471). The BUFF will always be my favorite plane.
soday
Sean O'Day 1
I was in Vietnam and I don't think any of us thought those "other places" were 'Nam.
preacher1
preacher1 1
You may not have but I can guarantee you(I was up in So. Korea for a PCS) that we were as close as we wanted to get. In and out was bad enough, let alone PCS there, and as I said, were it not for 'Nam, most of us wouldn't have been that far. In regards to the other, a PCS base for the 52's may have been on Guam at Andersen and probably was, but when we would RON our tanker at DaNang or Cam Rahn Bay, there were always some there on the ground. I don't know if they were like us, just in out, or what, but there were some in there.
soday
Sean O'Day 1
Fine. I guess B52 guys were different. My brother was flying Connies on listening missions from Thailand and he often says he is glad he wasn't in Vietnam.
It was over 40 years ago so it really doesn't matter that much. Thanks for your service.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Yours too. As you say, it was long time ago. Your brother felt as the rest of us did but as I said, had it not been for 'Nam, we probably would have all been stateside and enjoying college or civilian life. Hopefully we don't wind up in another quagmire like that mess
angelspapa
ROBERT MADISON 1
FLEW THIS AIRCRAFT, THE (B-52E) OUT OF ROSEWELL,NM FROM 1957 TO 1960. A GREAT AIRCRAFT TO FLY. HAVE MANY EXCITING MEMORIES FROM THIS PERIOD.
ROBERT MADISON
MAJOR, USAF (RET)

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
preacher1 1
Good old Walker.LOL
GolfSierra
Mark Gillians 1
Anyone ever witness a MITO launch if these aircraft? Awesome! Can fill the sky with heavy black smoke.
calponton
cal ponton 1
BUF rocks the world! Long Live the Stratofortress !
preacher1
preacher1 1
Just drive along I-20 around Bossier City, LA and your basicall on the North End of Barksdale. Ain't nothing more graceful than watching one of them things come in over your head with everything dragging.
calponton
cal ponton 1
And the sound of them taking to the air...the peacemaker !
preacher1
preacher1 1
What gets me is the forethought and engineering put in there so long ago. A pilot really don't have to white knuckle and CRAB on a strong crosswind. Because of the tail height and general config, they have about 40degress built in, with different heading capabilities for the gear and the plane.sweet.lol
N54GP
N54GP 1
I love the rotating landing gear, that allow this beast to takeoff and land in crosswind that downs almost anything.
boeller731
Pete Boeller 1
While stationed at Minot AFB 79 TO 83 working F 106 Weapon Control Radar 5th FIS, watched these graceful powerhouses launch off the alert pads with the KC 135s, 40 below zero, like it was nothing. Beautiful sight, great memories.
capnvic
vic holtzinger 1
just like the DC3(C47)(R4D),designed by men,not computers and built at least 3 times stronger than they had to be for the job requirment,many of these are still in service today,most hauling cargo,but a few like Buffalo Airways still in scheduled passenger service.To me,the most beautiful airplane ever built.
GaAubie
Ken Hardy 1
Aircraft can be flown for many many years provided they are taken care of and not abused. The Air Force could be still flying the C-141 if they had taken better care of them. Now the AF is going to park the C5 A models in the desert and just keep flying the B models once a aircraft goes to the desert, that's the last time 99 % of them ever fly again. To bad the Military wastes so much of their equipment with bad maintanance.
kettler
karl kettler 1
And 1959 they were already talking about a replacement.
ckevinhamel
Kevin Hamel 1
My grandfather retired from the Air Force as a refuel instructor over at (now former) Castle AFB in northern California. He bought a piece of land not far off the departure path of path of runway 31. My Summer memories in the '60s as a wee lad include watching those roaring monster beauties take off into the air day and night. In those simpler times, he took us grandkids driving around the base sometimes and saw those breathtaking machines on the flight line from afar. In the '80s when I got my private ticket, I had a flight one Sunday morning that took me over the base. The bored controller granted my 152 a low and slow look at the parked B-52s on the tarmac. I haven't see a B-52 in years now, but when I do my mind goes back to those carefree days.
TWA55
TWA55 1
Live on Buff.....
jimquinndallas
Jim Quinn 0
What's the expression? "If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going!"?

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