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The YB-52 prototype, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, takes its first flight on April 15, 1952.
History Link,org ^ | 4/15/2019

Posted on 04/15/2019 4:41:02 PM PDT by llevrok

On April 15, 1952, the huge YB-52 Stratofortress takes wing from Boeing Field. The plane surpasses anything then flying, with eight engines slung below swept wings measuring 185 feet from tip to tip. It is capable of carrying the largest nuclear devices available and one version is able to carry up to 30 tons of conventional weapons. The plane’s range initially is more than 5,000 miles and development of aerial refueling makes missions of up to 30 hours possible. Between 1954 and 1962, Boeing will manufacture more than 740 B-52s, first in Seattle and then Wichita, and scores of aircraft remain in active service.

The XB-52 Stratofortress prototype was rolled out in secret at Boeing Field on November 29, 1951. It did not fly until October 2, 1952. Thus the second prototype, the YB-52, was the first of this generation of aircraft to fly with its takeoff from Boeing Field on April 15, 1952.

The success -- or irony -- of the B-52 is that it never had to complete its primary mission: the dropping of a nuclear weapon in war. Rather, hundreds of aircraft remained aloft on rotating shifts to provide the Strategic Air Command with an assured means of retaliation in the event of a surprise nuclear attack by the Soviet Union or other power. The B-52, later augmented by intercontinental ballistic missiles and then by submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles, provided the first, sturdy leg of the three-pronged strategy of deterrence.

The B-52 saw combat in Vietnam, with several losses, delivering conventional bombs. It has also served as an important launch platform for experimental aircraft and spacecraft, including the X-15. Chiefly due to the failure of the North American B-1 swing-wing bomber to assume the B-52's key missions, the older but proven bomber (with many improvements and variants) remains on active duty as of 2019.


TOPICS: Government; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: aviation; buff; military; usaf
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and still flying!
1 posted on 04/15/2019 4:41:02 PM PDT by llevrok
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To: llevrok

Nice.

I wonder how it feels to be the pilot (or crew) of an aircraft that was flying before their parents were born?


2 posted on 04/15/2019 4:46:22 PM PDT by SnuffaBolshevik
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To: llevrok
Yup, with Major T. J. "King" Kong at the helm.


3 posted on 04/15/2019 4:47:33 PM PDT by Jim 0216 (MAGA by restoring the Gospel of the Grace of Christ and our Free Constitutional Republic!)
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To: llevrok

I feel sure most of them will still be flying in 25 years from now.


4 posted on 04/15/2019 4:47:48 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: llevrok

My Great-grandfather was born in 1868, at the height of the Indian wars. Bison still covered the plains, cattle drives were just starting North out of Texas.

He lived long enough to see the B-52 go into service.


5 posted on 04/15/2019 4:52:16 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: llevrok

The BUFF is as old as me.

5.56mm


6 posted on 04/15/2019 4:53:50 PM PDT by M Kehoe (DRAIN THE SWAMP! BUILD THE WALL!)
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To: llevrok

The kid that lived next door just graduated USAF Flight School. Got assigned to the Buff. Pretty cool. He has wanted to be a pilot since he was 13, at least.


7 posted on 04/15/2019 4:54:13 PM PDT by Tallguy (Facts be d*mned! The narrative of the day must be preserved!)
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To: llevrok

Somebody probably said that day: “It’ll never last. Obsolete within a year. No one will remember the B-52 a couple of years from today.”


8 posted on 04/15/2019 4:59:28 PM PDT by frank ballenger (End vote fraud,non-citizen voting & leftist media news censorship or we're finishid.)
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To: llevrok
My late brother flew on those. He loved flying and joined the USAF when he was 15. He and his crew were exposed to so much radiation that he was on 20 different meds when he died in 2006. He was a Korean War vet. I miss him.
9 posted on 04/15/2019 5:02:51 PM PDT by MamaB (Heb :13:2)
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To: M Kehoe

Happy birthday, BUFF!


10 posted on 04/15/2019 5:08:18 PM PDT by Catmom (We're all gonna get the punishment only some of us deserve.r)
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To: gaijin

If they’re still flying in 33 years,then they will have been in service for 100 years.


11 posted on 04/15/2019 5:10:02 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (168 grains of instant conflict resolution)
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To: llevrok

But, can it fly on just seven engines if one goes out?


12 posted on 04/15/2019 5:11:39 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido

I believe it can stay in the air with only 4 of the 8 running.

CC


13 posted on 04/15/2019 5:23:52 PM PDT by Celtic Conservative (My cats are more amusing than 200 channels worth of TV)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Impressive. He might have been aware of Custers demise at the Little Big Horn in 1876. What history making times.


14 posted on 04/15/2019 5:26:31 PM PDT by whistleduck (arpoon)
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To: gaijin

I’m fairly certain that the grandmother of the last B-52 pilot has yet to be born.

The original Wright flyer from Kitty Hawk would have still been flying in 1971 if it had the same longevity as the B-52.


15 posted on 04/15/2019 5:27:27 PM PDT by Natty Bumppo@frontier.net (We are the dangerous ones, who stand between all we love and a more dangerous world.)
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To: SnuffaBolshevik

Grandparents, not just parents anymore.


16 posted on 04/15/2019 5:27:45 PM PDT by PittsburghAfterDark (The American media: We do what the Soviet media did without the guns to our head.)
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To: llevrok

I remember those early B-52s.

They had a high tail fin and twin machine guns in the tail.


17 posted on 04/15/2019 5:28:02 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: Jim 0216

When Johnny comes marching home again HOORAW.The best cockpit scenes eva.


18 posted on 04/15/2019 5:29:49 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: SnuffaBolshevik

If it aint BOEING I AINT going.


19 posted on 04/15/2019 5:30:54 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: llevrok

They kept the prototype for years at Wright Paterson at the air force museum(the old one).they moved and had to cut it up.Cant save them all which is a shame.


20 posted on 04/15/2019 5:33:12 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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