US Air Force: B-52 Bomber Facts

US Air Force: B-52 Bomber Facts

The Boeing B 52 Bomber Stratofortress is a subsonic bomber, which does not exceed the speed of sound, powered by jet engines, which was manufactured by Boeing, an American company , for the US Air Force since 1955, and is still in service.

Since 1946, the B-52 has gone through several design stages, from the first prototype with six turboprop engines, to the final prototype YB-52, with arr owed wing and eight turbojets, this aircraft made the first flight on April 15, 1952.

General characteristics

  • It is a heavy long-range bomber
  •  48,5 m long
  • Wingspan of 56.4 meters,
  •  35-degree arrow wing
  • Eight jet engines, in two pairs per wing
  •  Quadruple main landing gear, double-bike swivel, with two additional wheels under the wing, with the ability to turn the main gear up to 20 degrees from the centerline of the fuselage to count the danger of landing in cross winds
  • Flying capacity with subsonic speeds up to altitudes of 15 km
  • Ability to carry precision conventional or nuclear weapons with a global reach
  • Serves to provide close air support in air offensives and maritime and air interdiction operations
  • Reached only by the endurance of the crew, thanks to the ability to refuel in flight
  • 14 000 km action radius
  • High efficiency in maritime surveillance, with capacity to assist the Navy in anti-ship operations and mine laying.

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Facts about the B 52 Bomber


  • In May 1956, a B52 Bomber launched its first hydrogen bomb, a Mk 15 on Bikini Atoll
  • In November 1956, four B-52Bs and four B-52Cs made a non-stop flight around the perimeter of North America as part of Operation Quick Kick, covering 25,000 km in 31 hours and 30 minutes
  • On September 26, 1958, a B-52D set a world speed record that reached 902 km/h in a closed circuit that included 10,000 km without cargo; that same day, another similar aircraft set another speed record of 962 km/h in a closed circuit of 5,000 km without cargo
  • December 14, 1960, a B-52G set a world record by flying 16,227 km without refueling, in a flight time of 19 hours and 44 minutes at 822.3 km/h
  • A B-52H in January 1962, set a world record for refueled flight from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa in Japan, to Torrejon Air Base in Spain, over a distance of 20,177 km
  • 650 B52 Bomber aircraft in 1963, constituted the maximum force in number of bombers
  • The B-52s deployed in Southeast Asia completed more than 100 bombing missions in six months and dropped an average of 8,000 tons of bombs per month by the end of the year.
  • On December 18, 1972, SSgt Samuel O. Turner's B-52 finished a bombing mission in Operation Linebacker II and was on its way back. When a North Vietnamese Air Force MiG-21 approached, Turner fired his .50-caliber quadruple-machine gun, exploding the MiG
  • In the Cold War years, these planes performed airborne nuclear warning duties with code names such as Head Start, Chrome Dome, Hard Head, Round Robin, and Giant Lance, these bombers would stake out strategic points in the vicinity of the Soviet Union to prepare for possible counterattacks or to carry out the first rapid attacks in a case of nuclear war
  • In February 1991, a fleet of these planes took off from Barksdale Air Force Base to Iraq, refueled in flight, attacked their targets, and returned to their base, having covered a distance of 22,500 kilometers in 35 hours round trip, becoming the record for longest distance combat missions
  • In the late 1990s they participated in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
  • The attacks of the B52 Bomber were an indispensable part of Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, they carried out about 1620 raids, launching 40 percent of the weapons launched by the coalition, and only one of them was lost, and it was not in combat.
  • This plane has appeared in major films such as Gathering of Eagles, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb , and By Dawn's Early Light and in novels, such as those by Patrick McLanahan written by Dale Brown.
  • Seven Days is a series where terrorists hack into the American network and send a fake attack order for a B52 Bomber squadron to bomb American bases in Saudi Arabia.
  • They also have an appearance in the video game Call of Duty, the plane passes at low altitude leaving a trail of 15 bombs to go through walls, it is a very dangerous plane in the game

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The B52 Bomber was the most feared bomber of the 20th century, and is still in force after 60 years of service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

It has been involved in military conflicts from Vietnam to Afghanistan, and will probably continue to fly until 2044.

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