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7

Metal fatigue and fatigue corrosion are and have been a problem since the type's introduction. They always fatigue and corrode, they always undergo expensive repairs due to corrosion. DIEGME degradation of fuel tanks has been a particular culprit, and it has been reduced with new coatings. Bombers aren't pressurized, so the whole fuselage doesn't fatigue ...


3

The military designation of the proposed JT4A is J75 (not to be confused with J57). It was proposed for the G-variant of the B-52, but it would have slowed down the production: The B-52G was proposed to extend the B-52's service life during delays in the B-58 Hustler program. At first, a radical redesign was envisioned with a completely new wing and Pratt &...


3

Back in the day the BUF (correct acronym for "D" model) airframe usage was calculated using variable aspects of actual flight that were outside the assumptions that the engineers used to predict "ordinary" useful hours of the airframe. If for example the plane had a 20,000 hour useful life before major overhaul or permanent grounding, ...


2

Lifetime limit depends on the design and on usage. Many aircraft have a lifetime limit given in cycles (i.e. number of takeoffs and subsequent pressurization cycles). For the B-52, flight hours are used instead (because the fuselage isn't pressurized). Modern aircraft are designed to a specific limit, and modern CAD software allows you to predict this pretty ...


2

The earlier variants were indeed easier to handle. The H-variant featured an independent spoiler panel for finer control to make it easier: In practice, the short fin combined with spoilers-only lateral control induced a tendency to Dutch-roll and low level handling was more sensitive than on earlier B-52s. Raising the spoilers also caused a slight pitch-up ...


2

The fin was shortened to lessen the structural loads (torsion and bending) when flying low (thicker atmosphere). That and using a spoilers-only roll control presented issues: To reduce aerodynamic loads on the rear fuselage in low-level flight there was a 91-inch reduction in the height of the vertical stabilizer. This stubbier fin had been tested on the ...


1

With some combination of regular Non Destructive Test inspections, patches and reinforcements, and in some critical areas replacement of primary structural fittings, panels and skins, and you can run an airplane forever if you can keep it safe from oxidation corrosion. It only comes down to inspection frequency, and when and what structural parts to ...


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