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|Gross Weight:||450,000 lbs|
|No. of Engines:||8|
|Powerplant:||Pratt & Whitney J57|
|Pounds of thrust (each):||12,100 lbs with water-alcohol injection|
|Range:||6,400 N.M. unrefueled|
|Cruise Speed:||526 mph|
|Max Speed:||638 Mph|
Designed in the early years of the Cold War, the massive eight-engine Boeing B-52 Stratofortress was intended as a high-altitude, intercontinental, strategic bomber capable of launching devastating nuclear attacks against targets deep inside the Soviet Union. Throughout the Cold War, B-52s served as the third element of the United States nuclear triad defense consisting of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles and strategic bombers. Yet, B-52’s have never dropped a nuclear weapon in anger.
Undergoing continuous modification since it first entered service in 1955, improvements in low-level operations, conventional bombing, range and defensive and offensive systems have allowed the Stratofortress to play an important role in conflicts around the world. From the sweltering jungles of Southeast Asia to the arid wastelands of Iraq, from the dense forests of Yugoslavia to the rocky precipices of the Hindu Kush the 70,000 pound bomb load of the B-52 has supported generations of American fighting men as a tactical bomber directly targeting enemy formations and supply routes.
A total of 744 B-52s were produced by Boeing at its Seattle, Washington and Wichita, Kansas plants before aircraft production ceased in 1962. Today 78 B-52H models are still in-service with the Air Force expecting them to continue until 2040.
The museum's B-52D, serial number 55-0679, was manufactured by Boeing
Aircraft, Wichita, Kansas and delivered to the Air Force on June 5, 1957. During
the Vietnam Conflict, it flew 175 combat missions in 41 months from November 1966 to October 1973. In 1975, it was involved in a ground mishap at March AFB that resulted in a broken wing spar permanently grounding the aircraft. 55-0679 last served as a weapons loading trainer before it was declared surplus and assigned to the museum.