Aircraft and History
The B-52 is probably one of the most iconic aircraft of all times and the longest serving aircraft in the US Air Force inventory. Designed to carry nuclear weapons during the cold war as a nuclear deterrent, the capabilities have changed since it took to the skies. The first flight of a B-52 was in April 1952 which the cockpit on the first two aircraft was a tandem arrangement similar to the B-47. That design was changed to a conventional side by side seating arrangement on all production aircraft. The first B-52H made its maiden flight in July 1960 and the final B-52H manufactured in October 1962 ending after an eight year production run. The most obvious difference on the B-52H is use of turbofan engines (TF-33) instead of the J-57 turbojet. Upgrades continue to bring new life to the airframe and capabilities but the youngest airframe is 59 years old at the time of this review.