B-52D Stratofortress

As you can see from the picture above the Museum is in the process of re-painting the

B-52D. For the last two months our Restoration Department has been sanding the B-52D and we still have a long way to go. We would like to thank those who have generously donated to the “B-52D Restoration Project”. If you are interesting in donating to the Project please click on the link below for more information.

 

Thank you.

B52D Project.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [433.4 KB]
Manufacturer: Boeing
Designation: B-52
Version: D
Nickname: Stratofortress
Type: Bomber
Specifications
Length: 156' 6"  
Height: 48' 4"  
Wingspan: 185'  
Gross Weight: 450,000 lbs  
Propulsion
No. of Engines: 8
Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney J57
Pounds of thrust (each): 12,100 lbs with water-alcohol injection
Performance
Range: 6,400 N.M. unrefueled  
Cruise Speed: 526 mph    
Max Speed: 638 Mph    
Ceiling: 46,000 Ft  

 

The B-52 is considered the longest lived front-line military aircraft in
aviation history. In 1948, Boeing began designing a long range nuclear capable
bomber to meet the demands of the Strategic Air Command and the first B-52 was
delivered in August 1954. The plane utilized four double engine pods and four
twin wheel landing trucks which could be slewed to crab the aircraft in a
crosswind landing. The B-52H aircraft used by the Air Force today are older than
the pilots who fly them. The engines have no thrust reversers, so a very long
reinforced runway is needed for takeoff and landing as the maximum aircraft
weight can exceed 200 tons! Internal fuel tanks could hold over 46,000 gallons
of fuel, allowing the aircraft to reach targets half-way around the world. With
air-to-air refueling, B52's were a truly global aircraft and have flown the
24,000 mile round the world route several times. B-52 bombers were considered
the weapon the enemy feared most in the Vietnam War. B-52D's would fly in
formation too high to be seen or heard, dropping over one hundred 500 lb bombs
each. B-52 tail gunners shot down two enemy aircraft in Viet Nam. All flight
controls are manual, making it a very tough aircraft to fly. The BUFF's (Big
Ugly Fat Fellows) have survived wars, modernization, and replacement from more
than five next generation bombers, but have remained in active Air Force
inventory for almost forty years. B-52's are used today as cruise missile
carriers, but during the Gulf War reverted to their original design of carrying
a large number of iron bombs, earning the respect and fear of those on the
receiving end.

Operation LINEBACKER II

According to sources from Maxwell AFB (they can infer, but not document),
this B-52D participated in Operation LINEBACKER II ("The Christmas bombing
offensive") while being assigned to the 43rd Strategic Wing, Andersen AFB, Guam.
In the space of 11 days, B-52 Stratofortresses flew 729 sorties against 34
targets in North Vietnam above the 20th parallel. They expanded over 15,000 tons
of ordnance in the process. A single B-52D Stratofortress Bomber carrying a full
load of 60,000 pounds of conventional weapons can make a destruction zone
roughly 3,000 yards long and about 1,000 yards wide. Bomb damage assessment
revealed 1600 military structures either damaged or destroyed, 500 rail
interdictions, 372 pieces of rolling stock damaged or destroyed, three million
gallons of petroleum products destroyed (this is estimated to be one-fourth of
North Vietnam's reserves), ten interdictions of airfield runways and ramps. In
an attempt to defend themselves against this mass destruction from these heavy
bombers the North Vietnamese used AAA, (Anti Aircraft Artillery) Migs, (Russian
made fighter jets), SAMs (Surface to Air Missiles). Actual estimate of the
amount of AAA that was fired is unavailable, but the general persistence and
intensity throughout the campaign was an enormous outlay of ammunition. The
amount of cannon and rocket ordnance used by the North Vietnamese Mig Fighters
against the large bomber force is unavailable. The best estimate of missiles
fired at B-52s by SAM sites is about 884 (one source suggests as many as 1,242
SAMs fired). Of the roughly 884 SAMs fired, only 24 achieved hits, for a 2.7
percent success rate of launches to hits. Of the 24, only 15 resulted in a
downed aircraft, one aircraft (a B-52D) was on a bombing run during LINEBACKER
II with its bomb bay doors wide open ready to drop its load when a SAM made a
direct hit up in the bomb bay itself, thus completely destroying the aircraft.
Another bird came back and was only a breath away from making a safe landing.
This represents 3.4 percent of the sorties hit, and 2.06 percent lost. There
were 92 crewmembers aboard the 15 aircraft that went down over North Vietnam

To date, there were only 5 tail gunners that engaged in air-to-air combat
with North Vietnamese Mig Fighters; two were confirmed and the other three were
un-confirmed. The tail gunners of B-52D s/n 55-0679 were not among these aerial
engagements. The B-52D bomber has a tail-mounted MD-9 Fire Control System, four
50. cal machine guns, each with 600 rounds per gun. Boeing built a total of 170
B-52D models: 69 of them came from the Wichita plant and 101 came from the
Seattle plant.

The museum's B-52D, serial number 55-0679, was manufactured by Boeing
Aircraft, Wichita, KS, and delivered to the Air Force on June 5, 1957. During
the Vietnam Conflict, it served 41 months (November 1966 to October 1973) in
combat with 175 missions. In 1975, it was involved in a ground mishap at March
AFB that resulted in a broken wing spar.  Our B-52D last saw service here at the
March Air Force Base with the 22nd Bombardment Wing as a weapons loading
trainer.  The museum aircraft was declared surplus at March AFB when it
developed weakness in the rear fuselage and was assigned to the museum. This
aircraft is on loan from the USAF.

According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell
AFB, AL, the museum's B-52D has the following history:

Our B-52D served at the following locations:

June 1957  -  Gained by the 92nd Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command),
Fairchild AFB, Washington.

March 1961  - To 92nd Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), Ellsworth
AFB, South Dakota.

July 1961 -   To 92nd Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), Fairchild
AFB, Washington.

February 1962  - To 92nd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command), Fairchild
AFB, Washington.

May 1963  -  To 494th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), Sheppard AFB,
Texas.

April 1966   -  To 509th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), Pease AFB,
New Hampshire.

November 1966  -    To 509th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command
Overseas), Andersen AFB, Guam.

August 1967   -  To 454th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

August 1967   -  To 509th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

August 1967   -  To 454th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

August 1967   -  To 454th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

August 1967   -  Tp 454th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

September 1967   -  To 454th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command)
Columbus AFB, Mississippi.

March 1968   -  To 306th Bomb Wing, Medium (Strategic Air Command), McCoy
AFB, Florida.

March 1968   -  To 22nd Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

May 1968   -  To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

May 1968   -  To 22nd Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

June 1968   -  To 92nd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

September 1968  -    To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command
Overseas), Andersen AFB, Guam.

October 1968   -  To 92nd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

October 1968   -  To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

January 1969   -  To 93rd Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), Castle
AFB, California.

January 1969   -  To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

March 1970   -  To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

March 1970  -    To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

August 1970   -  To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), Westover
AFB, Massachusetts.

April 1971   -  To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

May 1971 -    To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

July 1971   -  To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

August 1971   -  To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

September 1971  -    To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

April 1972   -  To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

May 1972   - To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas), U-Tapao
Air Field, Thailand.

July 1972   -  To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

August 1972   -  To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

September 1972   -  To 43rd Strategic Wing (strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

October 1972   -  To 7th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), Carswell
AFB, Texas.

April 1973  -   To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

April 1973   -  To 99th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand.

September 1973   -  To 96th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command
Overseas), Andersen AFB, Guam.

October 1973   -  To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

October 1973   -  To 96th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Commmand), Dyess
AFB, Texas.

November 1973   -  To 22nd Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), March
AFB, California.

May 1974   -  To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

May 1974   -  To 7th Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), Carswell AFB,
Texas.

December 1974   -  To 43rd Strategic Wing (Strategic Air Command Overseas),
Andersen AFB, Guam.

January 1975  -    To 22nd Bomb Wing, Heavy (Strategic Air Command), March
AFB, California.

Mar 1977 -   To 7th Bombardment (H.) Wing (SAC), Carswell AFB TX

Sep 1978 -  To 22nd Bombardment (H.) Wing (SAC), March AFB CA (converted to
GB-52D)

Dec 1982  - Converted back to B-52D

Apr 1989  - To Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center,
Davis-Monthan AFB AZ (last entry) (Note: it was assigned ownership to MASDC but
was never flown there)

According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Alabama,
as of calendar year 1991, B-52D s/n 55-0679 had a total of 11,861 flight hours
logged. In l992, this aircraft was dropped from United States Air Force service.