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Boeing B-52D Stratofortress

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress tail section in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress tail section in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- A view of the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

DAYTON, Ohio -- A view of the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)

Boeing B-52D Stratofortress payload bay in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Boeing B-52D Stratofortress payload bay in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Visitors check out the “Destruction from High Above: The B-52 Stratofortress in Southeast Asia” exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Visitors check out the “Destruction from High Above: The B-52 Stratofortress in Southeast Asia” exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit view at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.(Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit view at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.(Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit view at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.(Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)
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DAYTON, Ohio -- Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit view at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.(Photo courtesy of Lyle Jansma, Aerocapture Images)

DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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DAYTON, Ohio - Boeing B-52D Stratofortress cockpit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A view the tail gunner station in a B-52D. In later models, the gunner was stationed with the rest of the aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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A view the tail gunner station in a B-52D. In later models, the gunner was stationed with the rest of the aircrew. (U.S. Air Force photo)

With their shipping plugs replaced by fuses, these bombs are ready to load onto a B-52 at Andersen AFB, Guam, for Operation Linebacker II. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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With their shipping plugs replaced by fuses, these bombs are ready to load onto a B-52 at Andersen AFB, Guam, for Operation Linebacker II. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A pilot’s window damaged by a fragment from an SA-2. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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A pilot’s window damaged by a fragment from an SA-2. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Close-up showing damage to the B-52's left drop tank. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Close-up showing damage to the B-52's left drop tank. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Photograph taken at Da Nang Air Base in South Vietnam showing the damage done to the B-52's left drop tank. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Photograph taken at Da Nang Air Base in South Vietnam showing the damage done to the B-52's left drop tank. (U.S. Air Force photo)

As seen from another aircraft, bombs released from a B-52 fall on communist forces attacking Khe Sanh. The aerial bombing campaign in support of the besieged American forces at Khe Sanh was named OPERATION NIAGARA for this “waterfall” of bombs. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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As seen from another aircraft, bombs released from a B-52 fall on communist forces attacking Khe Sanh. The aerial bombing campaign in support of the besieged American forces at Khe Sanh was named OPERATION NIAGARA for this “waterfall” of bombs. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The operational launch system used modified B-52H carrier aircraft. The D-21B had a solid rocket booster to provide the initial acceleration required to start the ramjet engine. The first launch from a B-52 took place in 1967. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The operational launch system used modified B-52H carrier aircraft. The D-21B had a solid rocket booster to provide the initial acceleration required to start the ramjet engine. The first launch from a B-52 took place in 1967. (U.S. Air Force photo)

North American X-15A-2 carried by a NASA Boeing NB-52 mothership.(U.S. Air Force photo)
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North American X-15A-2 carried by a NASA Boeing NB-52 mothership.(U.S. Air Force photo)

Even long-range bombers like the B-52 needed refueling to reach their targets and return to base on far-off Guam. Bombing operations such as ARC LIGHT and LINEBACKER depended heavily on air refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Even long-range bombers like the B-52 needed refueling to reach their targets and return to base on far-off Guam. Bombing operations such as ARC LIGHT and LINEBACKER depended heavily on air refueling. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A B-52 refuels over Southeast Asia in 1967. Refueling bombers over vast expanses of ocean required precise navigation and planning. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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A B-52 refuels over Southeast Asia in 1967. Refueling bombers over vast expanses of ocean required precise navigation and planning. (U.S. Air Force photo)

B-52 aircrew returning from an ARC LIGHT mission over Southeast Asia. Just as in earlier wars, the bombs painted on the fuselage showed the number of missions flown. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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B-52 aircrew returning from an ARC LIGHT mission over Southeast Asia. Just as in earlier wars, the bombs painted on the fuselage showed the number of missions flown. (U.S. Air Force photo)

B-52 attacks caused tremendous and terrifying destruction. (U.S. Air Force photo).
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B-52 attacks caused tremendous and terrifying destruction. (U.S. Air Force photo).

A B-52 Stratofortress prepares to taxi on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug. 24, 2016. The B-52s have served non-stop rotations since 2006, which have been shared between the bomber squadrons from Minot AFB, N.D., and Barksdale AFB, La. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Gonsier)
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A B-52 Stratofortress prepares to taxi on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug. 24, 2016. The B-52s have served non-stop rotations since 2006, which have been shared between the bomber squadrons from Minot AFB, N.D., and Barksdale AFB, La. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Gonsier)

Senior Airman Logan Chufar, a 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief deployed from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., marshals a B-52 Stratofortress at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug. 24, 2016. The B-52s have served non-stop rotations since 2006, which have been shared between the bomber squadrons from Minot AFB, N.D., and Barksdale AFB, La. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Skovo)
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Senior Airman Logan Chufar, a 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief deployed from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., marshals a B-52 Stratofortress at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug. 24, 2016. The B-52s have served non-stop rotations since 2006, which have been shared between the bomber squadrons from Minot AFB, N.D., and Barksdale AFB, La. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Skovo)

A B-52 Stratofortress takes off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug. 24, 2016. After having a constant presence in Guam for the last 10 years, the B-52s are leaving Guam and are being replaced by the B-1B Lancers. The B-52s have begun supporting U.S. Central Command in the Southeast-Asia region, where the B-1s previously served. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Skovo)
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A B-52 Stratofortress takes off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Aug. 24, 2016. After having a constant presence in Guam for the last 10 years, the B-52s are leaving Guam and are being replaced by the B-1B Lancers. The B-52s have begun supporting U.S. Central Command in the Southeast-Asia region, where the B-1s previously served. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Skovo)


After it became operational in 1955, the B-52 remained the main long-range heavy bomber of the US Air Force during the Cold War, and it continues to be an important part of the USAF bomber force today. Nearly 750 were built before production ended in the fall of 1962; 170 of these were B-52Ds.

 

The B-52 has set numerous records in its many years of service. On January 18, 1957, three B-52Bs completed the first non-stop round-the-world flight by jet aircraft, lasting 45 hours and 19 minutes and requiring only three aerial refuelings. It was also a B-52 that made the first airborne hydrogen bomb drop over Bikini Atoll on May 21, 1956.

 

In June 1965, B-52s entered combat in Southeast Asia. By August 1973, they had flown 126,615 combat sorties with seventeen B-52s lost to enemy action. The aircraft on display saw extensive service in Southeast Asia and was severely damaged by an enemy surface-to-air missile on April 9, 1972. In December 1972, after being repaired, it flew four additional missions over North Vietnam. Transferred from the 97th Bomb Wing at Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas, this aircraft was flown to the Museum in November 1978.



TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Four .50-cal. machine guns in tail plus up to 60,000+ lbs. of conventional or nuclear bombs
Engines: Eight Pratt & Whitney J57s of 12,100 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: 638 mph
Range: 8,338 miles unrefueled
Ceiling: 49,400 ft.
Span: 185 ft.
Length: 156 ft. 6 in.
Height: 48 ft. 4 in.
Weight: 450,000 lbs. maximum

Click here to return to the Southeast Asia War Gallery.

 

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Air Force Museum Foundation
View B-52 products in the Museum Store
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