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Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

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The B-52 started life in 1948 as a design for a turboprop successor to the Boeing B-50.  The introduction of the reliable and efficient Pratt & Whitney J57 turobojet in 1949 changed the design to a turbojet bomber.

The prototype XB-52 first flew in 1952.  The first two prototypes had tandom-seating like the B-47; however, all production models have the more familiar side-by-side seating as directed by then SAC Commander General Curtis LeMay.

The B-52 saw extensive service in Vietnam and again during Operation Desert Storm.  Replacement bombers, the North American B-70, the Rockwell B-1 and Northrop B-2 have not brought the venerable B-52 Stratofortress to retirement.  The existing fleet's structural life is estimated to last beyond 2040.

Specifications (B-52D)





Type: Bomber
Engines: eight 12,100 lb (53.8 kN) thrust Pratt & Whitney J57-P-19W turbojets (replaced by 17,000 lb (75.6 kN) Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3 turbofans in the B-52H)
Model 464: Boeing design number
B-52: U.S. Air Force bomber designation
NB-52: used as motherships for X-15 program
RB-52: Reconnaissance version

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More about Boeing
Go to the B-52 Stratofortress Association website




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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010