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Questions tagged [b-52]

An eight-engine jet bomber produced by Boeing from 1952 until 1962, and still in service today.

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1 answer
693 views

How does one "emergency extend" the right main landing gear of a B-52 Stratofortress?

In an April 11, 2024 video an embedded CNN crew documents a 33 hour B-52 Stratofortress round trip flight between Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana "flying near Russia, China, North Korea, ...
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is this plane seen in Mobile, Alabama?

This was taken at the USS Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. It is probably a US Navy aircraft.
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why was the tip of the B-52's vertical tail chopped off in 1959?

When Boeing switched over from the B-52F to the B-52G in 1959, they (among other changes) lopped off the top 2.4 meters (8 feet) of the aircraft's vertical tail: Original-height tail (here on a B-52F) ...
3 votes
2 answers
741 views

B-52 inflight refuelling

I saw a photo of a B-52 - early model - just dropping off the inflight refueling boom, and the landing gear was extended. Was this a common operation or something out of the ordinary - flight test, ...
82 votes
7 answers
39k views

Why does the B-52 take off without rotating?

In the answer to this question it is noted that the B-52 takes off without rotating and climbs out in a nose-down attitude. Why was it designed this way?
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why was the B-52's wet wing more susceptible to fatigue than its dry wing, and not less?

After years of carrying all its fuel in the fuselage, the B-52 transitioned to a wet wing (where the wing structure is used as one or more fuel tanks) with the B-52G. This caused severe problems with ...
3 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the life limit due to metal fatigue in large bombers?

This article explains how the B-52's will be kept flying for 100 years. Replacing the engines, electronics, etc. is one thing, but when would metal fatigue become a problem? These planes are huge and,...
15 votes
6 answers
9k views

Why does the B-52 outboard engine nacelle have a sharp change in shape?

The outboard engine nacelle of a B-52 appears to have a change of shape too extreme for just blending to the center-line of the engine pod. Why is the B-52 outboard engine nacelle shaped the way it is?...
5 votes
2 answers
584 views

Why are the B-52's vortex shedding panels angled?

Their function is here: What is the purpose of the serrated trailing edge spoilers on the B52? While watching this video (around the 1:53 mark), I noticed a number of angled devices on the trailing ...
1 vote
1 answer
425 views

Did the "feeler" ailerons of the B-52A-F make air-to-air refueling easier than with the B-52G/H?

The B-52G/H uses 8 spoilerons (so it has 8 burning and 8 turning on its wing) and a shortened vertical stabilizer. Spoilerons seem to be very effective for this design, further reducing the need for ...
4 votes
1 answer
523 views

Why did the B-52 never have a JT4A-powered version?

All versions of the B-52 use the Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet (except for the last version, the B-52H, which uses the JT3D low-bypass turbofan instead). Problem: the JT3C is a horribly anemic ...
20 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why does the B-52 have such a tiny rudder?

The B-52 (aka Stratofortress, aka Grey Lady, aka BUFF) has a minuscule rudder for an aircraft of its size and wing-mounted engine placement: Compare to, for instance, the rudder on a 747: The B-52’s ...
33 votes
2 answers
8k views

What is this large engine doing on a B52?

In this YouTube video, discussing plans to use the 747 as an aircraft carrier, there is a brief sequence starting at 4 min 14 s, showing images of a B52: What is the explanation for the very ...
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Why B-52 was not re-engined as a more efficient 4-engine? [duplicate]

Why B-52 was not re-engined as a more efficient (also for maintenance) 4-engine but is still an 8-engine aircraft? In history, almost all others models were re-engined with new engines also quite ...
2 votes
3 answers
19k views

Why B-52 engines produce lots of smoke only during take-off? [duplicate]

During the flight it seems there is no smoke, it's only during takeoff. Here is an example This question explains that smoke is caused by unburnt fuel but why is ...
5 votes
1 answer
540 views

Is it possible to power a B-52 bomber with four bypass turbofan engines?

Is it possible to power the B-52 Bomber with 4 bypass turbofan engines instead of the eight in its current configuration? They would have less noise and be a lot more fuel efficient.
29 votes
8 answers
25k views

Why/How is the B-52 still in service?

The B-52 was introduced in 1955, and is still used by the US Airforce, and is expected to remain in use till the 2040s. On the other hand, the A-4 Skyhawk was introduced in 1956 and retired in 1998/...