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Air Force makes announcement about the B-52 Stratofortress! Keep on flying them for a long time!

Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,761 Senior Member
One of my favorite military planes ever.  It's still as good of an idea as the first day they took off.



https://www.airforcemag.com/pratt-whitney-outlines-vision-for-renewing-the-b-52/

https://www.airforcemag.com/article/re-engining-the-b-52/

I'm sure they are upgrading a lot of "stuff" under the hood too but this they can publish.  The intention is to keep them flying through 2060 and beyond.  That is absolutely AMAZING!  The original engines still on them are from 1962.  Money well spent I would say. 

°IIIII°  😎

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Replies

  • rberglofrberglof Senior Member Posts: 2,950 Senior Member
    I was stationed at Travis AFB 66 to 70 and we had B-52s there, word was back then that it required 24 hours maintenance for every 12 hours of flight. They were flown hard during those days. I might be wrong but think the money being put into the B-1 might be better spent. I did work on the B-1 for a short time before Carter axed the program.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,773 Senior Member
    Good news! Now, if the Air Force would quit trying to kill the A-10, I might think the adults have re-entered the room and booted out the Star Wars dreamers.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,761 Senior Member
    rberglof said:
    I was stationed at Travis AFB 66 to 70 and we had B-52s there, word was back then that it required 24 hours maintenance for every 12 hours of flight. They were flown hard during those days. I might be wrong but think the money being put into the B-1 might be better spent. I did work on the B-1 for a short time before Carter axed the program.
    Seems like the "Bone" is not going anywhere for a little bit either, not until they come up with the replacement for the B-2.  It has the same mission profile as the B-52, get the bad guys from a long ways off and dump a crap ton of heavy stuff right on their heads.

    °IIIII°  😎

  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,761 Senior Member
    Good news! Now, if the Air Force would quit trying to kill the A-10, I might think the adults have re-entered the room and booted out the Star Wars dreamers.

    Mike
    That's another one of my favorites.  My son's first assignment was Egress on the A-10 and he has a soft spot in his heart for the ol' Warthog.  I have a cannon shell from one of the practice runs at Davis-Monthan in AZ!  My son says it's something to see when you get them raining brass during a low altitude run at a tank.  The recoil of the gun at full speed is more than the trust of the engines so it actually slows down the plane to the point that can actually stall it if you keep the trigger hammered down long enough.  Crazy!

    °IIIII°  😎

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,194 Senior Member
    I have an acquaintance who was a BUFF driver...For a time, he flew the exact same airframe his grandfather flew...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,143 Senior Member
    How many times has the BUFF been updated now?
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,761 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    I have an acquaintance who was a BUFF driver...For a time, he flew the exact same airframe his grandfather flew...
    That’s pretty cool!  

    For longevity in service I don’t think anyone can beat the C-130 though.  Started service in ‘54 and they have yet to come up with a better solution.  From the standard cargo version, to the secret squirrel transport Talon, to the new J gunship that TRULY rains HELL from above, it never fails to deliver. 

    Damn things will stay in the sky patched up with chewing gum and duct tape…. My future son in law tells me his checklist of things to fix on his planes was usually PAGES long and they still just flew.  Now that he’s flying commercial he’s always surprised that his checklist is like 1-2 items, usually a burnt out light or two.

    °IIIII°  😎

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,179 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    I have an acquaintance who was a BUFF driver...For a time, he flew the exact same airframe his grandfather flew...
    WOW--------that would be exciting to visit with Grandpa and tell him your flying his airplane.
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 351 Member
    First pro job in 1978 upgrading the B52. They were old at that time. Now only a few G and H models are in service.  Hope those old birds fly forever!
  • RugerFanRugerFan Senior Member Posts: 2,733 Senior Member
    One of my uncles was a navigator/bombadier(sp?) on buffs during Vietnam
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,761 Senior Member
    Japhy said:
    First pro job in 1978 upgrading the B52. They were old at that time. Now only a few G and H models are in service.  Hope those old birds fly forever!
    Apparently over 70 of them are still taking off consistently.

    °IIIII°  😎

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,194 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    I have an acquaintance who was a BUFF driver...For a time, he flew the exact same airframe his grandfather flew...
    That’s pretty cool!  

    For longevity in service I don’t think anyone can beat the C-130 though.  Started service in ‘54 and they have yet to come up with a better solution.  From the standard cargo version, to the secret squirrel transport Talon, to the new J gunship that TRULY rains HELL from above, it never fails to deliver. 

    Damn things will stay in the sky patched up with chewing gum and duct tape…. My future son in law tells me his checklist of things to fix on his planes was usually PAGES long and they still just flew.  Now that he’s flying commercial he’s always surprised that his checklist is like 1-2 items, usually a burnt out light or two.
    I think the C-47 (DC3) is the only one that may have it beat...they are still flying...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,516 Senior Member
    I'm sure they are upgrading a lot of "stuff" under the hood too but this they can publish.  The intention is to keep them flying through 2060 and beyond.  That is absolutely AMAZING!  The original engines still on them are from 1962.  Money well spent I would say. 
    Soooo. . .to put that in context, by the time they plan to retire that airframe, the age of the design would be equivalent to us using Sopwith Camels as a frontline combat aircraft TODAY.

    Part of me is saying "COOOOOOL!"

    Another part of me is wanting to say to the Air Force "This seems awfully cocky of you to assume that you're going to always have the air supremacy and ability to suppress ground fire necessary to protect that big, slow, un-stealthy target".
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • N454casullN454casull Member Posts: 677 Senior Member
    They crashed one of those here in Washington when I was a kid. It was a big deal, as a few days before the crash a guy shot up the hospital killing some people. If I remember right the pilot was a show off hotdog type. 
  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 1,341 Senior Member
    The fact that they are projecting the use of those engines for another 40 years just shows how much maintenance and redundancy there is with aircraft. When I was taking my flying lessons, I was astounded with everything that went into the maintenance and upkeep of even the "cheapest" planes. There was an inspection and sign off for every bolt tightened. That was a good thought to have in the back of my head whenever I was flying that old Piper Cub and thinking of how I was basically strapped into a kite with an engine on it, 2000ft in the air 😄
    We've been conditioned to believe that obedience is virtuous and voting is freedom- 
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,761 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    I'm sure they are upgrading a lot of "stuff" under the hood too but this they can publish.  The intention is to keep them flying through 2060 and beyond.  That is absolutely AMAZING!  The original engines still on them are from 1962.  Money well spent I would say. 
    Soooo. . .to put that in context, by the time they plan to retire that airframe, the age of the design would be equivalent to us using Sopwith Camels as a frontline combat aircraft TODAY.

    Part of me is saying "COOOOOOL!"

    Another part of me is wanting to say to the Air Force "This seems awfully cocky of you to assume that you're going to always have the air supremacy and ability to suppress ground fire necessary to protect that big, slow, un-stealthy target".
    The track record is pretty consistent in that direction so far…

    °IIIII°  😎

  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 351 Member
    There have been many many proposals to re-engine the B52 to 4 high bypass modern engines. 
    Maintenance is an issue with 8 engines
    The noise is deafening!! 
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,961 Senior Member

    I'm just here for snark.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,961 Senior Member

    I'm just here for snark.
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,761 Senior Member

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    °IIIII°  😎

  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,516 Senior Member
    Japhy said:
    There have been many many proposals to re-engine the B52 to 4 high bypass modern engines. 
    Maintenance is an issue with 8 engines
    The noise is deafening!! 
    I imagine the debates on that were long and heated, and the slide-rule boys put in a lot of math far beyond the grasp of mortal brains...

    My caveman brain is thinking that if it's a series of generally high-reliability engines, and I'm 3,000 miles from home when one of them quits, I'd rather lose 1/8th of my power than 1/4th.

    The notion that this change allows a B-52 to carry something like 5,000 pounds MORE bombs makes me giggle.  Practically, that increase is adding the entire payload of my Grandpa's B-26, and probably a good bit extra.  Is it possible we could replace the entire Eigth Air Force with just one plane?  :D
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,749 Senior Member
    You swap in an LS and disc breaks.... Still a fat & heavy '55.....



    I would have put my money on fast & sexy....


    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • BamaakIIBamaakII Posts: 476 Member
    I think this stupid.  The countermeasures upgrades that will be put into them over another 40 years would pay for a new fleet.  They are retiring the B1s and B2s and in the process of designing a new flying wing.  I mean, if they want to keep them around to bomb places like Afghanistan, that is one thing but not as a front line weapons system.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,516 Senior Member
    BamaakII said:
    I think this stupid.  The countermeasures upgrades that will be put into them over another 40 years would pay for a new fleet.  They are retiring the B1s and B2s and in the process of designing a new flying wing.  I mean, if they want to keep them around to bomb places like Afghanistan, that is one thing but not as a front line weapons system.
    Well, yeah, but this is the U.S. government we're talking about.

    By the time they got the F-22 to the point they were able to stamp them out and reduce the production cost, they decided to cancel production.

    It may just be a case of "Whatever NEW bomber we decide to produce will likely be becoming obsolescent by the time we actually manage to cut through the red tape to produce enough of them (if we ever do), and we already have almost 80 of these things that we can keep around for the cost of new motors.

    I will say this for the Cold War  - the scare of the Red Menace did wonders for convincing Congress to pay for new toys.  While China probably is the necessary boogeyman to bring that back, it isn't in most folks minds to that level of realism - yet.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,761 Senior Member
    BamaakII said:
    I think this stupid.  The countermeasures upgrades that will be put into them over another 40 years would pay for a new fleet.  They are retiring the B1s and B2s and in the process of designing a new flying wing.  I mean, if they want to keep them around to bomb places like Afghanistan, that is one thing but not as a front line weapons system.
    They are useful against most of the countries we go against because many of them do not have high tech capabilities.  As much as people fantasize about this a real war against China or Russia is HIGHLY unlikely and no one in Europe has the balls to take on the USA again.

    There is no one in the Middle East that can get close enough to a B-52 to cause the crew discomfort, especially with an escort of a few F-35s that you can't see coming.  And it's cool to have them elephants parked in a few pockets in the world and be able to cover the whole globe swiftly.  Sometimes all you really need is a BFH.

    °IIIII°  😎

  • BamaakIIBamaakII Posts: 476 Member
    edited August 2021 #27
    Well like I said, just to bomb Afghanistan  or yeaman, they are fine.  But with Russia selling arms to anybody with cash. The BUFF won't last long against hi tech SAMS, forget the hypersonics coming out. I'm a proponent of giving our troops the best tool there is and 100 year old bombers are not what I would like to see my great grandkids flying.  
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,986 Senior Member
    So cool. Saw one once back in the '80s at a........South Carolina airport? can't recall very well but boy, talk about a HUGE warbird. Down here commies HATE their guts 'cause they're "the big stick of  imperialism"  :D

    Sadly when finally retired due to their size, complexity and costs very few will be preserved even in static condition and almost for sure not a single one will keep flying; pretty much like the B-36.

    Last bomber to shoot  enemy planes in combat with its tail turret; couple of long squirts with the quad-.50 BMGs and 2 Vietnamese MiG-21s went "Pooof!"

  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 3,761 Senior Member
    Antonio said:
    So cool. Saw one once back in the '80s at a........South Carolina airport? can't recall very well but boy, talk about a HUGE warbird. Down here commies HATE their guts 'cause they're "the big stick of  imperialism"  :D

    Sadly when finally retired due to their size, complexity and costs very few will be preserved even in static condition and almost for sure not a single one will keep flying; pretty much like the B-36.

    Last bomber to shoot  enemy planes in combat with its tail turret; couple of long squirts with the quad-.50 BMGs and 2 Vietnamese MiG-21s went "Pooof!"

    Sad part is that those tail gunners didn’t usually live very long…. 

    °IIIII°  😎

  • BamaakIIBamaakII Posts: 476 Member
    They replaced the taigunners with automation 
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,194 Senior Member
    edited August 2021 #31
    Yep..In the last mods that had tail guns....the tail gunner sat in the cabin and operated the gun remotely
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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