The B-52 was designed by Boeing Aircraft in October 1946 in response to the Army Air Corp request for a long range bomber capable of carrying a 10,000 lb payload 3000 miles at 300 mph. The B-52 flew for the first time on 15 April 1952. It's the only aircraft in the world with eight jet engines. The first B-52A was delivered in 1954 and the last B-52H was delivered in October 1962, a total of 744 B-52s were built for the USAF.
The B-52 has been the flagship bomber of the USAF for more than four decades. The Gulf War involved the longest strike mission in the history of aerial warfare when B-52s flew from Barksdale AFB, LA., launched conventional air launched cruise missiles over Iraq, and returned to base. A 35 hour non-stop combat mission. The B-52 is capable of dropping or launching the widest array of weapons in the US inventory. This includes gravity bombs, cluster bombs, precision guided missiles and joint direct attack munitions. Current analysis of the B-52 shows its lifespan to extend beyond the year 2040.
This B-52G S/N 58-0185 was first assigned to the 4135th Strategic Wing (SAC) at Eglin AFB, FL in September 1959. It was last flown by the 2nd Bombardment Wing (SAC) at Barksdale AFB, LA. During its time at Barksdale AFB, this aircraft flew missions during Desert Storm. During Desert Storm the B-52s completed
approximately 1,620 sorties, in fact, the B-52s managed to drop almost a third of the entire tonnage of bombs dropped by US aircraft.
Specifications for the B-52G
Manufacturer Boeing Aircraft Corp
Thrust Eight — Pratt & Whitney J57-P-43WB Turbojet engines rated at 13,750 lbs of thrust w/water injection
Length 160 ft 11 in
Height 40 ft 8 in
Wingspan 185 ft
Weight 168,445 lbs Empty / 488,000 lbs Max
Speed 636 mph Max / 523 mph Cruise
Range 7,976 miles w/tanks
Ceiling 47.000 ft
Armament Four — 50 cal M3 machine guns in tail turret, can carry a 50,000 lb payload, up to 20 — AGM- 86 ALCMs, Four — B83 nuclear weapons, 36 — Mk84 bombs or 27 — M117 or Mk83 bombs and can be equipped to carry AGM-86Cs and AGM-142s
This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force