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Once sailor, forever sailor

Monday, May 7, 2012

Boeing B-52 celebrates 60 years in the air



Boeing's B-52 Stratofortress bomber prototype for the U.S. Air Force takes off on its first flight, on April 15, 1952 at Boeing Field in Seattle. Photo: The Boeing Co. /
 SL 
Boeing's B-52 Stratofortress bomber prototype for the U.S. Air Force takes off on its first flight, on April 15, 1952 at Boeing Field in Seattle.



Boeing shows off its first production B-52A in 1954. Photo: Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection,  Museum Of History & Industry 1986.5.180 / SL 
Boeing shows off its first production B-52A in 1954.




Boeing's first production B-52A makes its first flight, on Aug. 5, 1954, from Boeing Field in Seattle. Photo: The Boeing Co. / SL 
Boeing's first production B-52A makes its first flight, on Aug. 5, 1954, from Boeing Field in Seattle.




A newly-completed B-52 is rolled out of Boeing's Seattle plant on March 18, 1955. Photo: The Boeing Co. / SL 
A newly-completed B-52 is rolled out of Boeing's Seattle plant on March 18, 1955.




On Jan. 18, 1957, three U.S. Air Force B-52s set an around-the-world non-stop record of 45 hours and 19 minutes. Photo: The Boeing Co. / SL 
On Jan. 18, 1957, three U.S. Air Force B-52s set an around-the-world non-stop record of 45 hours and 19 minutes.




The X-15 rocket plane launches away from the B-52
 mothership in the early 1960s. The white patches near the middle of the ship are frost from the liquid oxygen used in the propulsion system, although very cold
 liquid nitrogen was also used to cool the payload bay, cockpit, windshields and nose. A joint program by NASA, the Air Force, the Navy and North
 American Aerospace, the X-15 set a series of speed records, culimating in Mach 6.7 on Oct. 3, 1967 and reached a record altitude record of 354,200 feet on Aug. 22, 1963. It contributed to the development of the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. Photo: NASA / SL 
The X-15 rocket plane launches away from the B-52 mothership in the early 1960s. 




A B-52 refuels over Southeast Asia in 1967. Photo: U.S. Air Force / SL 
A B-52 refuels over Southeast Asia in 1967.




A B-52 refuels from a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker over Southeast Asia
 during the Vietnam War. Photo: U.S. Air Force / SL 
A B-52 refuels from a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.




A U.S. Air Force B-52 drops bombs in this undated file photo. Photo: USAF, Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
A U.S. Air Force B-52 drops bombs.




An X-24A
 lights its rocket engine and begins its powered flight after being drop launched from its B-52 mothership in 1970. The X-24A was flown 28 times, and validated the concept that a Space Shuttle could be landed unpowered. The X-24B was built around the fuselage of the original X-24A, converting the bulbous shape into a 'flying flatiron' with a rounded top, flat bottom, and double delta platform that ended in a pointed nose. It demonstrated that accurate unpowered reentry vehicle landings were operationally feasible. Photo: NASA / SL 
An X-24A lights its rocket engine and begins its powered flight after being drop launched from its B-52 mothership in 1970. 




The X-38 research vehicle drops away from NASA's B-52 mothership
 immediately after being released from the B-52's wing pylon in July 1999. The X-38 was a series of five research prototypes for a new, reusable space station crew return vehicle. It has since been cancelled. Photo: NASA / SL 
The X-38 research vehicle drops away from NASA's B-52 mothership immediately after being released from the B-52's wing pylon in July 1999.




NASA's X-43A Hypersonic
 Experimental Vehicle is mated to the wing of the B-52 launch platform in an undated photo. The first X-43A was destroyed during its maiden flight on June 2, 2001,
 after a booster rocket carrying it aloft veered out of control and tumbled from the sky. Photo: NASA, Getty Images / Getty Images North
 America 
NASA's X-43A Hypersonic Experimental Vehicle is mated to the wing of the B-52 launch platform.




NASA's first X-43A Hypersonic Experimental Vehicle is shown mated to the wing of the B-52 launch platform in flight in an undated
 photo. The first X-43A was destroyed during its maiden flight on June 2, 2001, after a booster rocket carrying it aloft veered out of control and tumbled from the sky. Photo: NASA, Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
NASA's first X-43A Hypersonic Experimental Vehicle is shown mated to the wing of the B-52 launch platform.




A boy reaches up to touch a B-52 at the Department of Defense Joint Services Open House on May 17, 1997 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Photo: JAMAL A. WILSON, JAMAL A. WILSON/AFP/Getty Images / AFP 
A boy reaches up to touch a B-52 at the Department of Defense Joint Services Open House on May 17, 1997 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.




The commander Of A B-52 gives a thumbs-up prior to leaving for a mission from RAF base  Fairford, United Kingdom, on March 26, 1999 to supporting NATO Operation Allied Force in Kosovo. Photo: USAF, U.S. Air Force/Getty Images / Getty Images
 North America 
The commander Of A B-52 gives a thumbs-up prior to leaving for a mission from RAF base Fairford, United Kingdom, on March 26, 1999 to supporting NATO Operation Allied Force in Kosovo.




A B-52H taxies at RAF base Fairford, United Kingdom on
 March 29, 1999 past waiting cruise missiles for NATO operations over Kosovo. Photo: USAF, U.S. Air Force/Getty Images
 / Getty Images North America 
A B-52H taxies at RAF base Fairford, United Kingdom on March 29, 1999 past waiting cruise missiles for NATO operations over Kosovo.




A cruise missile is carted to a waiting B-52 at RAF base Fairford, United Kingdom on March 30, 1999 in support Of NATO Operation
 Allied Force in Kosovo. Photo: USAF, U.S. Air Force/Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
A cruise missile is carted to a waiting B-52 at RAF base Fairford, United Kingdom on March 30, 1999 in support Of NATO Operation Allied Force in Kosovo.




Master Sgt. Larry Coleman and Technical Sgt. James Bolen put a parachute Into the rear of a B-52 at RAF base Fairford, United Kingdom on March 31, 1999, supporting NATO Operation Allied Force in Kosovo. Photo: USAF, U.S. Air Force/Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
Master Sgt. Larry Coleman and Technical Sgt. James Bolen put a parachute Into the rear of a B-52 at RAF base Fairford, United Kingdom on March 31, 1999, supporting NATO Operation Allied Force in Kosovo.




Then President Bill Clinton walks with members of the 2nd Bomb Wing in front of a B-52 bomber at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on April 12, 1999. Clinton was showing his support for the crisis in Kosovo. Photo: STEPHEN JAFFE, STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images / AFP 
Then President Bill Clinton walks with members of the 2nd Bomb Wing in front of a B-52 bomber at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on April 12, 1999. 




U.S. Air Force personnel wave at a B-52H Stratofortress bomber as it taxis for take off on a strike mission against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime October 7, 2001 in an unknown location. Photo: USAF, Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
U.S. Air Force personnel wave at a B-52H Stratofortress bomber as it taxis for take off on a strike mission against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime October 7, 2001.




Men watch as U.S. Air Force B-52s begin a bombing run over northern Afghanistan in 2001. Photo: JOSHUA TRUJILLO / SEATTLEPI.COM 
Men watch as U.S. Air Force B-52s begin a bombing run over northern Afghanistan in 2001.




Bombs from a U.S. B-52 kick off an assault against the Taliban in northern Afghanistan, hitting Taliban tank positions in this October 2001 photo. Photo: JOSHUA TRUJILLO / SEATTLEPI.COM 
Bombs from a U.S. B-52 kick off an assault against the Taliban in northern Afghanistan, hitting Taliban tank positions in this October 2001.




A B-52 streaks across the sky above Kandahar International Airport in Afghanistan on Dec. 23, 2001. The plane made at
 least two bombing runs over a nearby mountain range and smoke could be seen rising over the ridge. Photo: RICK LOOMIS, RICK LOOMIS/AFP/Getty Images / AFP 
A B-52 streaks across the sky above Kandahar International Airport in Afghanistan on Dec. 23, 2001.




Comedian Jeff Foxworthy gives a
 thumbs-up from a B-52 on Jan. 11, 2002 at Barksdale Air Force Base, LA. Photo: Denise Rayder, Getty Images / Getty Images
 North America 
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy gives a thumbs-up from a B-52 on Jan. 11, 2002 at Barksdale Air Force Base, LA.





U.S. Air Force Reservists Tech. Sgt. Ron (left) and Staff Sgt. Brian of the 93rd Bomber
 Squadron apply a decal with the phrase "Lets Roll" to the side of a B-52 bomber on Feb. 20, 2002 at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
 Photo: Mario Villafuerte, Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
U.S. Air Force Reservists Tech. Sgt. Ron (left) and Staff Sgt. Brian of the 93rd Bomber Squadron apply a decal with the phrase "Lets Roll" to the side of a B-52 bomber on Feb. 20, 2002.




Afghan soldiers stand on top of a hill at sunset as a B-52 flies overhead on March 13, 2002 in the Shah-e-Kot mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Photo: Paula Bronstein, Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
Afghan soldiers stand on top of a hill at sunset as a B-52 flies overhead on March 13, 2002 in the Shah-e-Kot mountains of eastern Afghanistan.




A U.S. B-52 flies over the mountains March 5, 2002 near Gardez, Afganistan. Photo: Paula Bronstein, Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
A U.S. B-52 flies over the mountains March 5, 2002 near Gardez, Afganistan.




The flight deck of a B-52 is shown in this file photo. Photo: NASA, NASA/Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
The flight deck of a B-52 is shown.




A U.S. Air Force major with the call sign "Ponch," a pilot instructor, flies a B-52 bomber training mission in a simulator March 5, 2003 at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. Photo: Mario Villafuerte, Getty Images / 2003 Getty Images 
A U.S. Air Force major with the call sign "Ponch," a pilot instructor, flies a B-52 bomber training mission in a simulator March 5, 2003.




Capt. Cameron Warren, 40th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, pilots his crew home after completing a mission over Iraq on March 26, 2003. Photo: USAF, Getty Images / 2003 Getty Images 
Capt. Cameron Warren, 40th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, pilots his crew home after completing a mission over Iraq on March 26, 2003.




This militarty handout photo shows a navagator aboard a U.S. Airforce B-52 from the 40th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron warming a snack after a bombing mission over Baghdad on March 29, 2003. Photo: USAF, Getty Images / U.S. Air Force 
This militarty handout photo shows a navigator aboard a U.S. Airforce B-52 from the 40th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron warming a snack after a bombing mission over Baghdad on March 29, 2003.




A B-52 bomber is accompanied by an F/A-18 fighter in this undated photo. Photo: Getty Images / Getty Images North America 
A B-52 bomber is accompanied by an F/A-18 fighter.




Engineering technicians Casey
 Tull (right) and Charlie Nichols wrap up the  X-43 research vehicle, which is mated to a B-52 during test-flight prep on March 24 2004 at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Photo: ROBYN BECK, AFP/Getty Images / 2004 AFP 
Engineering technicians Casey Tull (right) and Charlie Nichols wrap up the X-43 research vehicle, which is mated to a B-52 during test-flight prep on March 24 2004 at Edwards Air Force Base in California.




NASA's X-43 research vehicle  and attached Hyper-X booster are seen from the window of
 its B-52  mothership during test-flight prep on March 24, 2004 at Edwards Air  Force Base in California. Photo: ROBYN BECK, AFP/Getty Images / 2004 AFP 
NASA's X-43 research vehicle and attached Hyper-X booster are seen from the window of its B-52 mothership during test-flight prep on March 24, 2004 at Edwards Air Force Base in California.




A B-52 takes off with the experimental NASA X-43A attached on March
 27, 2004 from Edwards Air Force Base in California. During this flight, the X-43A reached Mach 6.8,
 setting a short-lived speed record. Photo: ROBYN BECK, AFP/Getty Images / 2004 AFP 
A B-52 takes off with the experimental NASA X-43A attached on March 27, 2004 from Edwards Air Force Base in California.




NASA's X-43A scramjet flies after being launched from a B-52 on Nov. 16, 2004. During
 the flight, the X-43A a speed record of Mach 9.6. It was the third and final X-42A flight and the culmination of NASA's
 seven-year, $230-million Hyper-X Program. Photo: NASA / SL 
NASA's X-43A scramjet flies after being launched from a B-52 on Nov. 16, 2004. 




A woman walks near the wreckage of a B-52 in a small lake in Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 15, 2006. The bomber was  shot down in 1972. Photo: SHAH
 MARAI, AFP/Getty Images / 2006 AFP 
A woman walks near the wreckage of a B-52 in a small lake in Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 15, 2006. The bomber was shot down in 1972.




A woman walks near the wreckage of a B-52 in a small lake in Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 15, 2006. The bomber was  shot down in
 1972. Photo: SHAH MARAI, AFP/Getty Images / 2006 AFP 
A woman walks near the wreckage of a B-52 in a small lake in Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 15, 2006. The bomber was shot down in 1972.





A B-52 armed with AGM-86B Air-Launched Cruise Missiles is seen in this undated file photo. Photo: USAF, U.S. Air Force / Getty Images North America 
A B-52 armed with AGM-86B Air-Launched Cruise Missiles.




A B-52 drops 500-pound bombs and flares during a U. S. Air Force firepower demonstration on
 Sept. 14, 2007 at the Nevada Test and Training Range near Indian Springs, Nev. Photo: Ethan Miller, Getty Images / 2007 Getty Images 
A B-52 drops 500-pound bombs and flares during a U. S. Air Force firepower demonstration on Sept. 14, 2007 at the Nevada Test and Training Range near Indian Springs, Nev.




A B-52 bomber flies overhead before the start of the 2007 Apple Cup, the annual football game between
 the University of Washington and Washington State University. Photo: Mike Kane, Seattle
 Post-Intelligencer / SL 
A B-52 bomber flies overhead before the start of the 2007 Apple Cup, the annual football game between the University of Washington and Washington State University.




A B-52 performs a fly over prior to the start of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Samsung 500 at
 Texas Motor Speedway on April 15, 2007 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo: Ronald Martinez, Getty Images / 2007 Getty
 Images 
A B-52 performs a fly over prior to the start of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 15, 2007 in Fort Worth, Texas.




A B-52 flies over the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington during Opening Day on April 1, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington, Getty Images / 2011 Getty Images 
A B-52 flies over the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington during Opening Day on April 1, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.




This undated photo shows three B-52s departing in formation during a minimum interval takeoff exercise, in which three cells of six B-52 and KC-10 Extender aircraft take off seconds apart under combat conditions. Photo: USAF, U.S. Air Force / Getty Images North America 
Three B-52s departing in formation during a minimum interval takeoff exercise, in which three cells of six B-52 and KC-10 Extender aircraft take off seconds apart under combat conditions.




Dozens of inactive B-52s are bathed in the glow of the setting sun as they sit on the desert floor at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group center at Davis-Monthan Air Base, in Tuscon, Ariz. Photo: USAF, U.S. Air Force / Getty Images North America 
Dozens of inactive B-52s are bathed in the glow of the setting sun as they sit on the desert floor at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group center at Davis-Monthan Air Base, in Tuscon, Ariz.

From Mai Nguyen

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