B-52's turn 50 today

Today is the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the first prototype B-52. Plans are for the current fleet to serve in the Air Force for at least 40 years to come. Read and be awed here.

There are third-generation B-52 pilots serving today - their fathers and grandfathers flew 'em. Amazing.

BUFF. Too ugly to die. :slight_smile:

One tough bird. I suppose it’ll be possible that 5-6 generation AF pilots may fly them in 2040. It’ll be a sad day when they are officially retired.

BUFFs rule!

Damn. As a result of the Fred Schneider thread in Cafe Society, I thought this was about the rock group!

I was wondering how they made it to 50 years already…

It is pretty darn remarkable. Kind of like if there had been Sopwith Camels in service in Vietnam…

My Dad worked on 'em for around 25 years. It’s rare to find something that works so well there’s really no reason to get rid of them. They’re almost beautiful in a way—in the same way a hammer can be beautiful if it’s well suited for its purpose.

From theFederation of American Scientists web site.

So the youngest BUFF is almost 40 years old!:eek:

Hahahahahaha! Well don’t feel alone, scout–that’s why I came here! I figured maybe they were all 50 years OLD.

And I am so sad that I don’t get to sing “Rock Lobster”. :wink:

What, auntie em, you need a reason to sing “Rock Lobster”?
No wonder the people on the bus look at me funny.

And to think that many of the pilots who will be flying them in 2040 aren’t even born yet. Amazing…

Useless Trivia - I believe the oldest one still flying is NASA’s, tailnumber 52-008… the eigth one off the line.

We used to count the seconds of a bombing raid in Kuwait, over 12 seconds was the Big Boy. We were next to the Direct Air Support Center, so we checked our guesses. Kinda mad me fell sorry for those guys getting slammed like that, but not TOO much.

Yet more trivia - I am told that the name of the Fender Stratocaster - the classic rock guitar launched in 1954 - was inspired by “Stratofortress”. (But, admittedly, it could have been named for the Stratojet, Stratocruiser, etc.) And presumably, the hairstyle was named after it.

There is a real beauty to many aircraft, and B-52s come pretty close to the top - but to my mind this beast has to be #1 in the aesthetics dept.

bernse, NASA has retired that old B model, which was used for air-launching the X-15 and a number of subsequent aircraft, and has replaced it with an H borrowed from USAF.

Wonderful plane, outlived most of the ICBMs that were supposed to replace them.

Plus they were in Dr. Strangelove.

begins whistling “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”.

And won’t be for another decade yet.

I’ve read of contingency plans to push them out another 50 years, if need be.

And then the National Guard gets 'em :).

Imagine flying in a 100 year old jet bomber…

Anybody hear the piece on NPR today where they interviewed the co-pilot who flew the first B-52? Its pretty interesting he gives the reasons why the planes are still in service and what it was like flying one and what kinds of changes have been made to the planes over the years. The guy must be 70 years old or more, if you think about it.

I don’t know if any of you caught it this morning, but on the Today Show, they interviewed the commander. At first, Matt Lauer was going to come here to Minot. Then, it got changed to Matt Lauer was going to inverview our boss. Finally it ended up being Al Roker continually cutting off our boss as he was trying to talk about the B-52.

Damn, I hate the media. . .

Al Roker? C’mon . . .