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Sweet Lumbering Behemoths of Armageddon, Batman! [Updated]

Rivrdog - this Bud's for you...

 

 

Considering those airframes are about as old as I am...  H/t, Jim C for the original link.

Update: Speaking of Arc Light and using up the old WWII/Korea bomb stocks...  a blog reader sends along this picture taken on Guam:

The bomb pier at Apra harbor, Guam, during the Linebacker II raids on Vietnam.

A picture of the old bomb pier in Apra Harbor at Guam. The picture is from when Linebacker II was ongoing.

22 Comments

They're going to be around for a long while too, John. I can only hope that I stick around as long as they are scheduled for.
 
"...about as old..."? How's about "older"?

BTW, if you need a refresher on the survival kits each crewmember carries:
In them you'll find one .45-caliber automatic, two boxes ammunition, four days' concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizing pills, one miniature Russian phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, five packs of chewing gum, one issue prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings.

Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
Heh.
 
 
IIRC, Dusty, all the current airframes still flying are 1962 or later, somewhere in there, anyway.

I don't think any of the birds from the 50's are still actually flying... except perhaps as jetsicles.
 
What utterly improbably things.

Everybody knows that office buildings can't fly.
Battleships can't fly.

How in bleep do those things fly?
 
 KCSteve -
If you look closely, you will see that they don't actually fly - the wings take off and the rest of it just has to keep up.  Watch as the negative dihedral turns to positive and then the wheels come unstuck!  The behind shots also show why the fly nose down too, as the wings are set at quite an angle to the fuselage.
I presume they are cartridge started by all the smoke.  Is this so they can get going quickly?

 
If memory servers, that was a whole wing not just a squadron off an old alert pad with 5 B-52 D and E's. They also used to scrambled a couple 3 KC-135's at the same time. These were G's and H's. Which used to be D, E and F's and got a new paint job, lots more electronics, new engines, some counter measures and no nukes. I don't think the tail guns are on board anymore either.

So they've done Nam, Gulf I, Iraq, and Afstan. They should be out of old WW II 500 lb bombs by now.
 
KCSteve - anything can fly.  Somethings just take more powder than others, and the ballistic properties are variable...
 
With that in mind, ever wonder if there are any 100 year old Colt M1911's still around?  The BUF just shows that quality engineering can last.
 
Having a mess of those nose to tail, wingtip to wingtip dumping whole carpets of iron on Karachi for a week or two, would have been a hella good way to start our drive toward the Taliban in Afghanistan.
 
 I'm older than any flying B-52. I'm sure there are others here, other than Bill and myself, about which teh same can be said.
 
Looks like they had a helluva crosswind there...
 
Quite a sight.  So much more smoke than I expected.

Panther 01's Theory of Flying: If you take your survival kits first everyone will be flying while the plane still sits on the ground.

KCSteve's Theory of Flying: Frightening a plane down the runway by bleeping at it might even work on battleships.

SezaGeoff's Theory of Flying: Wings fly, carriages are just trying to catch them.

John's Theory of Flying: Powder works and Bouncing Counts

 
Last B-52 off the assembly line was 62.  My old man (LTC D) picked it up from Boeing shortly before he picked me up from the nursery at Wurtsmith AFB.  The old man always said that BUFF's didn't fly off the runway, they did a big pull up.  And climbed slightly nose down.  Aerodynamics are overrated, just ask anybody that drives a Jeep.
 
Yeah, I wondered about the xwind as the port wings dipped.
Back in the day [Unca Bills day] we saw the aftermath of carpet bomb runs, awsome!
Quick trrip to Guam and back for another run, More awsome.
 
Saw that at Anderson on Guam in '69. Loud!

Also saw an arclight raid near the DMZ from a few miles off shore AT NIGHT!

I think the latter impressed me more? It appeared like miles of orange hemispheres blossoming, seemingly  from nowhere. I think I  remember a low rumbling as well, over the noise of the ship, but that could just a memory of a memory?
 
 One of the Auld Soldier's jobs, before his took his battalion in Vietnam, was II Field Force G2, and among the duties there was planning Arc LIght missions.  One of his Purple Hearts was earned while flying a "people sniffer" mission post-raid.  The survivors were... annoyed.  The Auld Soldier observed there weren't that many survivors.  


 
I had a front row seat for MITOs and Elephant Walks at Loring.  My office was a little weather observer shack right near the runway at mid-point.  They were building the second runway when I left, which put us between runways.

It's amazing the amount of smoke those things generated, especially when it was -10 with no wind and an inversion at 100 feet or so.

BUFFs didn't seem to fly; they looked more like they were levitating.  Touch-and-goes were especially cool as the front wheels made contact but the rears were still a few feet off the ground.
 
Been there & done that in G's, E's, &  Ds.  The B-52 D was and is my favorite. 
It was fun while it lasted.

Take offs from Guam Kadena, & UT could have their interesting moments also.
 
Look up Minot AFB on google maps.  The runway runs SE to NW and it looks like the photographers are north of the runway.  A bit breezy in ND with winds from the NNW.  Go figure.
 
I am older than any B-52 which ever flew.  When I walked under the bomb bay of the D at Warner Robins, I noticed that the little door to the forrard part of the aircraft was padlocked. This was before I'd ever loaded the Castle site, or I'd swear The Armorer had been poisoning those people's minds about me.
 
 I thought a B-36 was louder than the BUFFs, but I only remember one 36, and a lot of 52s. For a jetm the BUFFs were about teh loudest.

I'm a bit surprised that re-engined BUFFs still produce that much smoke. Each one looks like 4 F-4s, which was another smoking stove pipe.
 
Ot: Romney won FL; and my county by a landslide.  Mr. Paul got 7% of the vote in my county, and Gary Johnson exactly 27 votes.  I hate Police Republicans, funded by banksters.