AR15.Com Archives
 The wonderful B-52 Stratofortress bomber w/ pics! (warning to dial-up users)
Charging_Handle  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:10:53 AM
OK, it's been a few weeks since I showed my love for military aircraft here. I believe my F-4 thread was my last. So today I will show my affection for the magnificent B-52 and as well as pass along some pics I've seen from various places around the net.

I guess my love for these huge planes started when I was a little kid. I lived underneath MTR 075 (a military low level training route) near Richmond, KY. There was a bomb plot located at the Bluegrass Army Depot that was used to score mock hits as they came over. The minimum authorized altitude was 500 feet on this route, but pilots sometimes got even lower! That was especially true of the FB-111 Switchblade drivers that also flew through here. On many days, there would be flights every 5-10 minutes. So as you can imagine, I would spend many of my days outside just watching the free airshow I was treated to. Mostly it was B-52's, but occasionally I would also see a B-1B (especially toward the late 80's/early 90's) and the very loud and fast moving FB-111. I am pretty sure the route was active as far back as the 1960's, but that was before my time. I can however remember them from the late 70's, the 80's and early 90's quite vividly. I know I saw aircraft that were based at KI Sawyer AFB, Blytheville AFB, Barksdale AFB, Pease AFB (the FB-111's) and likely many other bases from around the nation. It was so sad the flights stopped here in the mid 90's. I later learned that the radar site they used was closed and the bomb plot was no more. So I haven't seen one since about 1994 in person.

Anyway, here are the goodies:


This is the D model, known as the "Big Belly" used in Vietnam that was capable of carrying 108 Mk 82 500 lb bombs. Note the tall vertical stabilizer, camo paint and black underside paint with black vertical stabilizer. I recall these models as looking like a shark swimming across the sky with it's distinctive fin shaped vertical stabilizer. This model also had the rounded nose rather than the molded one piece nose of the later G and H models. These are some distinguishing features which makes recognition easier. The last B-52D's were pretty much phased out of service in 1983.


Here is a G model sporting the common camo paint with white underside so common during the 1970's.


Another view of a G model as it passes by the photographer. This one has the camo paint style of the 1980's before the monochrome dark gray paint became the standard.


Another G model showing off it's 1990's paint job. This would be the point where you better seriously be diving deep into an extremely well constructed bunker if you were enemy infantry and this plane was attacking!


Another very nice view of a G model


Yet another view of a G model. I believe the tail marking "CA" on this particular plane indicates it was based out of Castle AFB, CA.


Here's a thirsty G model taking a drink from a KC-135 tanker


Here is an H model. They look nearly identical to the G's, with the exception the H has different engines than all other B-52 variants. There are still 8 engines (two per pod), but the H's engines have larger housings and jut out toward the front. The other models' engines all have a seamless look front to back. There are also other little tell-tale signs to differentiate such as antennas, but it's too damn early to get that technical!


A truly beautiful shot of another H model. I can't recall the number of times I was presented this same angle watching them pass by, at least the ones that didn't pass directly overhead. That is one mean looking jet!


This H looks even meaner! If it was left up to me this would be over the city of Fallujah, with several others on either side of it! But I don't get to make those type of decisions. Hehe. The "LA" marking on the tail indicates this plane is one of Barksdale AFB, LA's babies.


Here's another really beautiful shot of an H model. Notice the swept wing design and beautiful lines as it moves above the desert floor. They may call it the BUFF (big fat uglt F'er), but to me, it's one of the most beautiful sights in the air.


Here is an H model flying alonside the aircraft that was designed to replace it, the B-1B Lancer. What's ironic, more than 20 years after the B-1B was designed, not only has the B-1 not replaced the B-52, but it's likely the B-1 will be phased out before the B-52! Amazing longevity!


This is the most sad one I've ever seen. These are rows and rows of the retired B-52's that have been put out to pasture in the "The Boneyard" at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ. Just think of all the carpet bombing potential just sitting there getting a tan. Sad. Most of the aircraft visible are B-52G's, but there are also some D models mixed in as well (notice the taller all black vertical tails). There are also some other variants that are visible, at least the tail sections anyway, on the right side of the pic. They have the earlier paint scheme which is the silver over white common on the earlier B-52's. This is likely C, E or F models. If I were guessing, I would bet they are F's. Someone else posted this pic here before in another thread regarding retured aircraft. To whoever that was (probably KA3B), thanks for pointing that one out.

All models of B-52 besides the D, G amd H were retired prior to the 1980's. The D went to the boneyard in 1983. The G's first started phasing out in the late 80's, but were kept around a bit longer thanks to the Gulf War. It was the G model who pounded Saddam's forces so heavily during that conflict, having a serious effect that no doubt contributed to breaking their will to fight and saving US lives in the process. The last G's were phased out around 1994 or 1995. Today, only the H model remains in service.

Long live the B-52!

-CH


Charging_Handle  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:24:56 AM
Oooops. I just noticed the pic marked as Lubbock Texas 1995 airshow is actually mislabeled on the website I found it. That is an H model, not a G. I just noticed the engines after I made this post. Anyway, nobody cares anyway, but I am too anal retentive to let any minor detail pass unnoticed. LOL.
wedge1082  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:27:10 AM
tagged, because I love bombers.
Wobblin-Goblin  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:33:12 AM


What's with the wrinkles?
motown_steve  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:33:35 AM
I love those airplanes too!

When my father was in the Air Force, we were stationed at Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota. These are the coolest planes I have ever seen. I heard on the History Channel that they are expecting them to achieve a 100 year service life.
warlord  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:36:20 AM
One thing for sure, and there very few in this world, the USA taxpayers got their money's worth out of the old B52. I think the plane probably outlive many of its pilots.
Charging_Handle  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:36:36 AM
The wrinkles are very fairly common. The fuselage skin was not extremely rigid. Being it has a little "give", you would see some stretching. Some say it only happened on the ground. But we see that this one is very much in the air and the wrinkles are still present. I guess it's just one of those things. Hehe. However it doesn't seem to have any negative effects other than it just looks kinda wild.

I suppose the closest comparison I know is that as the B-52 ages, it has a tendency to show sagging, just as aging women show sagging in certain areas!

For any ladies who read this, please don't take too much offense, as if you understand the B-52's graceful aging process, you'd take that as the highest of compliments.
Stopper  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:37:02 AM
Sweet pics. Thanks.
rn45  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:39:09 AM
I just remembered to turn on the CR114 discriminator. Man I love BUFFS.
wedge1082  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:39:23 AM

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/GeeDeeTee/Bombers/B-52H20c20l.jpg

What's with the wrinkles?



When you are over 50 years old you will have wrinkles too.
dpmmn  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:48:08 AM
Great pics, but I didn't see any from Minot AFB so I fixed it for you


Charging_Handle  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:51:49 AM
Might as well add a couple more pics.


An H model landing (or possibly taking off)


Here's a nice view of a B-1B I swipped off someone on this site. "Them thar is black widders!"
archer2  [Member]
9/7/2004 10:00:07 AM
I was stationed at KI Sawyer from 1977 - 1979 and became very fond of the BUFF! We had G models and one old D model that was scavenged. They used to tow the D model from the alert pad to the ramp and vice versa every few days just to screw with the ruskies sattelite pics...( D and G have the same profile from above....had to keep em guessing about how many we had on alert).

You haven't lived until you drive behind a G model that has the radar guided 20mm guns still on.....they'll track you going "click, click, click".....unnnerving to say the least!

archer2
USAF MSGT ret.
wedge1082  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 10:03:48 AM

My fav. nose cone art.

and a shameless plug for my dad, he is second from the left.
Charging_Handle  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 10:11:46 AM

Originally Posted By archer2:
I was stationed at KI Sawyer from 1977 - 1979 and became very fond of the BUFF! We had G models and one old D model that was scavenged. They used to tow the D model from the alert pad to the ramp and vice versa every few days just to screw with the ruskies sattelite pics...( D and G have the same profile from above....had to keep em guessing about how many we had on alert).

You haven't lived until you drive behind a G model that has the radar guided 20mm guns still on.....they'll track you going "click, click, click".....unnnerving to say the least!

archer2
USAF MSGT ret.



Very cool! I'm sure you serviced many of the birds that did low levels over me when I was a kid! Thanks for doing a good job, both for the service of the nation as well as ensuring none of them ever fell on my head! LOL.

BTW, if you aren't already a member, you might be interested in joining a forum dedicated to the B-52. There's lots of old and new crews who hang out there. It can be found here:

www.stratofortress.org/forum

Enjoy!

-CH
BigDozer66  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 10:46:32 AM
Nice. Very nice!

Thanks,
BigDozer66
Jeepster  [Member]
9/7/2004 12:09:21 PM
Love this stuff! Makes me nostalgic for the old days prior to the monochrome low-vis color schemes. The camo upper with the black lower was great, like the Lancasters the RAF flew in WW2.
Thans for the post!
GC456  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 12:14:27 PM
Thanks! I love the B52!
MiG-21  [Member]
9/7/2004 12:20:10 PM

Originally Posted By dpmmn:
Great pics, but I didn't see any from Minot AFB so I fixed it for you


www.usu.edu/afrotc/images/b52%202.jpg



Why not Minot? Freezin's the reason!
RustyTX  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 12:31:42 PM
I used to work on high ground overlooking Carswell when SAC HQ was there and watching these come and go was awe inspiring. Spent hours (a few minutes at a time) watching them. Watching scrambles was the best.

Then the fuelers would come over and burst your ear drums I think they dropped the water-aspirated engines for them, but they made manmade thunder back then. Ouch.
Charging_Handle  [Team Member]
9/7/2004 9:00:49 PM
You know, its a real shame that AF General McPeak, appointed by Clinton and now the guy in the John Kerry ad downing Bush, also happened to be the guy who disbanded SAC. What an assmunch. I've yet to hear anything good about that asshole.