Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Venerable B-52 Stratofortress

 I spent most of the week in Ohio last week.  It kind of took alot out of me so yesterday I only went to catch the 747.  I had to spend today doing my laundry.  I was thinking of heading to the laundromat tonight but they are no longer open 24 hours, so I wasn't sure what time I needed to get there.  As a result, I didn't get out to take pictures, so it's another week of a diecast airplane.

For today, I needed to get a picture of my B-52 Stratofortress.  I think this is the H model.  There are the different cowlings on the engines and the short tail.
Late in World War II, the Air Force identified the need for an aircraft that could carry out operations from the continental United States.  This was an improvement over the B-36 Peacemaker that was already coming out.
At first, it was six engine propellor aircraft.  But that design wasn't much of an improvement over the B-36.  With the advent of the jet engine, the design was modified.
The XB-52 took its first flight on April 15, 1952.    Originally, it had a fighter canopy like the B-47.
The A Model would have the cockpit that we are familiar with.
The current model is the B-52H which was introduced in 1961.  The changes included a more powerful engine, a gatling gun in the tail instead of the quad 50 caliber and a few other changes.  After the U-2 was shot down over the Soviet Union, the mission profile changed from a high altitude bomber to a low altitude penetrator.  Because of that change, the plane has survived much longer than expected.
They are currently used in conventional bombing.  With upgrades, they are expected to fly into the 2050s.  At that point, they might as well extend it to 2060 and then there will be a 100 year  old aircraft flying.

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