Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Air Force Is Making Plans To Fly Some Of Their B-52 Bombers For The Next 30 Years

Clive Irving, Daily Beast: The Air Force Plans to Fly 100-Year-Old Planes

Behind the front-line warplanes is a fleet of aging jets, including one designed over a single weekend in a hotel room during the Cold War.

Since we have an administration with a proclivity to drop bombs, very big bombs, this seems like a good time to talk about bombs, and how they are dropped.

The United States Air Force has a lot of bombs, of many kinds. On the face of it, they are a modern force, conveying fearsome power. Look behind that impression, however, and there is an astonishing story of aging airplanes and a very expensive effort to keep them flying for as long as 100 years—in fact, the first ever warplanes to be in service for a whole century.

This only-in-America story really begins in a suite at the Van Cleve Hotel in Dayton, Ohio, on a weekend in October 1948. The Boeing company faced a crisis. For two years they had been trying unsuccessfully to meet a demand from the U.S. Air Force for a new strategic bomber.

It was a dangerous time in the Cold War.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Flying a bomber that is 100 years old .... that is something that I am sure the original  designers never dreamed was possible.


Anonymous said...

I knew that air frames can last a long time and allow the plan to stay operational, amid upgrades of course - but 100yr.. wow.. hats of to the designers, but also hats off to the engineers and composite-metallurgists.

Steven Krische said...

I'm surprised they haven't moved to a blended wing body design. More fuel efficient (longer range, duration). Would be able to handle larger payloads. But then there is only so much money to go around and with opportunity cost, you are loosing out on spending that money somewhere else.