29 minutes ago
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I just ran into this article while out and about on the web.
One point I found interesting; today all of these planes are older than their crews, and in some cases older than the crews' parents. Shortly, they will be older than the crews' GRANDPARENTS.
And it is still an effective warbird.
Here is the US Air Force site for the plane, and Wikipedia has a great article as well.
Having served in SAC back in the day, on a B-52 base, I have seen my share of these birds on the ground and in the air, and constantly wondered how in the world these things were able to fly, much less loaded with 35 TONS of bombs.
The article says the USAF is flying about 85 of these birds, which is probably about half of what was built. I saw a video a few years back of the Air Force destroying dozens of these planes in Arizona as part of some treaty or the other, and it was a sad sight. They also salvaged a whole bunch of the nose art from the destroyed birds, and the Air Force Museum in Dayton had probably 2 dozen of them on display at one point a couple of years ago.
A great plane, flying since before I was born, and not scheduled to retire until after I do.
One final question; do they plan on keeping these planes flying for so long because they are the epitome of design, or because we can't do any better today?
PS: BUFF? It is a very endearing name for these veteran war planes.