Dumb Information

The B-52’s

Posted in Air Force, Asia, death, Drinking, Dumb Information Hall of Fame, guns, Hall of Fame, Men, Military, War by Chop on 9 February 2009

You all must be growing tired of the same old thing, I know. It is hard to watch, or hear, or read the same thing over and over and over without wanting to slit your own wrists just to make the pain go away. Though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same, as Robert Frost so eloquently put it. DI heard your cries, and took action. Our Hall of Fame inductee, although possessing many human characteristics, is not of this world. It was born from the imagination; it was born of steel and bolts, and became the greatest in its class, far outliving the competition, and still remains active to this day.
With absolutely no introduction required, I present to you the B-52, and I am not talking about the “Love Shack” one. The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, nicknamed BUFF for being big, ugly, fat, with the last F being silent, sort of (feller for all you southern folks). The Strato rolled off of the production line ready for action in 1955, giving the American Air Force a deep offensive jet powered threat unheard of at the time.
General Nathan Twining, Air Force Chief of Staff from 1953 to 1957, said it best as “the long rifle was the great weapon of its day……Today this B-52 is the long rifle of the air age.” General, if you could hear us today in 2009, it would be the exact same thing, as the B-52 is still alive and flying high. The United States Military, over the course of the past century, has made costly purchases that never panned out, but got there monies worth and more with the old faithful Strato.
The B-52, among other things, is a veteran of several foreign conflicts, to include Vietnam and the Gulf War. In February of 1991 in support of the Gulf War, Barksdale AFB in Northwest Louisiana launched a pack of B-52’s which flew a nonstop combat mission, at the time the longest in history, striking targets inside Iraq. 14,000 miles and 35 hours later, the B-52’s touched down safely back at Barksdale. The B-52 holds the current record of the longest combat mission of 16,000 miles, a mission from Guam to Iraq and back to deliver critical blows to Baghdad power stations in support of Operation Desert Strike.
The Stratofortress has also outlived several of its replacements like the XB-70 and the B-1 Lancer. Mission after mission, the Strato’s performance far exceeded the rest of the pack, proving that age is not necessarily a bad thing. It is one of only five aircraft to have to have 50 consecutive years of service, with a projected future until at least 2040, which would give it an astounding 85 years terrorizing the skies of America’s enemies.
Far outclassed and outran by its want to be successors, the B-52’s mission readiness rates have hovered around the 80% mark, showing the B-1 Lancer (53%) and B-2 Spirit (26%) who the true giant of the sky is.
Most Buff’s in the current fleet are twice as old as the pilots who fly them, with the possibility of one day the men and women who call the beast home for hours at a time could affectionately refer to them as Grandma and Grandpa. A true hero and deserving HOF member, welcome aboard aircraft commander of the skies.
And last but not least, the B-52’s popularity across the nation resulted in a the naming of a viciously strong strain of marijuana, a multi layered cocktail shooter including Baileys Irish Cream, as well as the hit rock band B-52’s, being named for the shape of a beehive hairdo resembling the nose cone of the air king.
DI Pride, until next time; do you own research, and form your own opinions.

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2 Responses

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  1. wallernotweller said, on 24 July 2010 at 8:15 am

    my fave b-52


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