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USAF Boeing B-52 Stratofortress long range strategic heavy bomber
The USAF Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses long range strategic heavy Bomber could look after itself. It could carry 2 Hound Dog supersonic missiles and bombs. It had a 20 mm radar directed tail turret cannon, Twenty SRAMs or twenty ALCMs (B-52H). It had five crew and a top speed of 650 mph. It had a ceiling of 50,000feet and a range of 10,000 miles without refuelling. This Military Bomber was huge. It had a span of 185 feet and a length of over 157 feet. It has been in service for over 35 years and can drop an array of munitions including gravity bombs, cluster bombs and precision guided missiles. The B52 has undergone numerous upgrades and weapons improvements to meet the different challenges over the past three decades.
US Army Air Corps started a design competition for a new strategic bomber to replace the B-36. In 1946 their requirements specified that the new bomber must carry a 10,000-pound bomb load, 5,000 miles, be able to cruise at a minimum of 450 mph, at an operating altitude of 35,000 feet. Boeing was awarded the design contract. The test flight in 1952 was successful, and its performance exceeding the original specifications. The first B-52s were delivered in 1955. Over 740 bombers have been. During the Cold War in the mid 1950s the US had prepared to fight a nuclear war with similar tactics to those used in World War Two. United States of America’s nuclear strategic airpower, provided a nuclear umbrella for America and its allies. The idea behind the build up of a nuclear force was to deter war and resolve conflicts on terms favourable to the United States as they were the strongest side.
In 1958 high altitude covert U-2 spyplanes reported being fired upon by Rssian surface-to-air missiles SAMs and that they got uncomfortably close to the U-2s operating altitude. This prompted SAC to revise tactics for the B-52. It was the first of several major changes. The Boeing B-52 fleet was modified with an improved radar altimeter, a new terrain avoidance radar, modified equipment mounts, increased cooling capacity for sustained low altitude operations, and a strengthening of the aircraft's secondary structures to enable it to penetration enemy air space in all-weathers at 500 feet and survive.
With the change in strategy the production of the B-52 ended in the summer of 1962 but as it was losing its traditional strategic nuclear strike role the Vietnam war began. B-52's were being called upon for bombing support. Experience in this hostile environment and the increased use of SAMs and interceptor jets made the low level penetration role of the B-52 suspect as the predicted casualty rates would be too high. Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles ICBM would me the first response with a back up force of 225 B-52, a new short-range attack missile (now called SRAM) and F-111 was the new thinking. President Carter announced in June 1977 that he intended to extend the life of the B-52 by modifying it to carry a longer range air launched cruise missile. Its penetrator role changed to that of a long range missile launch platform extending the reach of cruise missiles. As its payload could be launched outside SAM infested areas the B-52 bomber extended its operational life yet again.
Military Airforce Fighter Bomber Aircraft - Airshow Photos
There are many International Air Tattoos and air shows like the one at Fairford Air Base, Duxford, Farnborough, Biggin Hill, Cosford, Eastbourne AirShow, Abingdon UK air show, Boscombe Down UK air shows, Greenham Common, Mildenhall air fete where you can have fun with all the family looking at static aviation displays as well as the acrobatics in the air. You can see many of these planes, Supermarine spitfire, tornado, battle of Britain fighters, warbirds, vulcan,, Lancaster, lightning, mosquito, Eurofighter, VC10, DC10 Shackleton, jaguar, typhoon, sabre, super sabre, delta dart, talon, phantom, falcon, thunderbirds, eagle. Learjet, lockheed, Douglas, McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle, McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II USMC, Vought F4U-5NL Nite-Corsair, McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk USMC, Lockheed HC-130H Hercules, Lockheed P-38J Lightning, Curtiss P-40E Warhawk. North American P-51D Mustang, Republic P-47B/D Thunderbolt Razorback, Bell P-39D Airacobra , Northrop P-61B Black widow, Martin B-26B/C Marauder, North American B-25B/C Mitchell, B-24J Liberator, Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Zero, Hawker Hurricane, Junkers Ju 52, Messerschmitt Me 110C, Messerschmitt Bf 109E, Focke Wulf Fw 190A, Panavia Tornado RAF, Grumman A-6A Intruder, Grumman F-14A Tomcat, Douglas F-18A Hornet USN, Lockheed S-3B Viking, Grumman E-2C Hawkeye, Lockheed C-130H Hercules, Lockheed C-5A/B Galaxy to name but a few
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