One of the “Big Belly” B-52Ds releasing its 60,000-pound bomb load of bombs on enemy targets in Vietnam. It could carry up to 84 500-pound bombs or 42 750-pound bombs internally and 24 750-pound bombs externally on racks under the wings. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The B-52D was an improved version of the B-52C with mostly minor changes incorporated into the aircraft systems. The ability to carry to bomb-bay mounted reconnaissance and observation pod was eliminated and the D model was used only as a bomber.
The B-52D was used extensively in Southeast Asia beginning in the mid-1960s. Operating from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and later U-Tapao Royal Thai Air Base, the B-52 was a major component of many operations including Arc Light, Iron Hand, Rolling Thunder, Linebacker and Linebacker II.
The B-52D remained in service until 1983 when the last aircraft of the 7th Bomb Wing were retired.
The museum has a B-52D on display. This aircraft saw extensive service in Vietnam and was hit by an enemy missile and severely damaged during a mission on April 9, 1972.
Improved C model
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Four .50-cal. M-3 machine guns in the tail barbette and up to 60,000 lbs. of bombs Engines: Eight Pratt & Whitney J57-P-19W turbojets of 10,500 lbs. thrust each (dry), 12,100 lbs. thrust each wet (water injection) Maximum speed: 638 mph/551 knots at 20,000 ft. Cruising speed: 526 mph Range: 3,305 nautical miles combat radius at combat weight of 293,100 lbs. (without in-flight refueling); 8,338 miles maximum ferry range Service ceiling: 46,200 ft. at combat weight of 293,100 lbs. Span: 185 ft. 0 in. Length: 156 ft. 7 in. Height: 48 ft. 4 in. Weight: 450,000 lbs. (maximum takeoff weight) Crew: Six (pilot, Copilot, electronic warfare officer, navigator, bombardier-radar navigator, tail gunner) Serial numbers: 55-0049 to 55-0117; 55-0673 to 55-0680; 56-0580 to 56-0630; 56-0657 to 56-0698