U.S. AIR FORCE B-52 Stratofortress
The concept for the B-52 was developed in Dayton during an October weekend in 1948. Since jet
engines were in their infancy at that time, Boeing’s original contract for an experimental long-range
bomber called for turboprop engines. After Boeing engineers met with Wright Air Field Air Base officials,
they learned that the Air Force preferred to have jet engines in the proposed bomber. After an
exhaustive weekend of work at the Hotel Van Cleve in downtown Dayton, the Boeing engineers
presented a plan that Monday which is essentially the same B-52 spectators will see at the air show.
With its long lineage, some of the B-52’s flown by Air Force pilots today are the grandchildren of early B-
DID YOU KNOW?
- The youngest B-52 is 55 years old as production for the aircraft ended in 1962!
- During Operation Desert Storm, B-52s delivered 40 percent of the weapons dropped from air!
- During the Vietnam War, three B-52s shot down North Vietnamese MIG-21 fighter jets. With
this accomplishment, the B-52 is the largest aircraft to be credited with air-to- air kills!
- In addition to being a bomber, the B-52 can assist in ocean surveillance for the US Navy!
- The B-52 has a unique ejection system. Two of the five crew members (navigator and radar
navigator) eject downwards!
- It earned the nickname “BUFF”, which is short for Big Ugly Fat Fellow.
B-52 FAST FACTS:
Engines: Eight Pratt & Whitney TF33-P- 3/103 turbofan engines
Wingspan: 185 feet
Length: 159 feet, 4 inches
Height: 40 feet, 8 inches
Speed: 650 MPH
Range: 7,652 nautical miles (8,800 statute miles)
Ceiling: 50,000 feet
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 488,000 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 312,197 pounds
Armament: 70,000 pounds mixed ordnance: bombs, mines and missiles
Crew: Five (aircraft commander, pilot, radar navigator, navigator and electronic warfare officer)
Unit Cost: $84 million