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highpeaklad
Topic Author
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Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:02 am

Considering the age of the engines and the cost of maintenance and availability of spares why hasn't the B52 been reengined? Surely only 4 modern engines would be required giving longer range, reduced maintenance, better reliability etc?

Just wondered

Chris
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citation501sp
Posts: 178
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:25 am

in short Money.

I just read an article about re-engining the B-52 and it was more cost effective to keep the existing engines rather than converting to four.

In summary;

To do research, design and modifications of the airframes to handle four new engines, then train the mechanics on those engines, build up spare engines and spare parts for those engines, it was several million dollars less over the placed life of the aircraft to keep the 8 tf-33's. Besides the stockpile of TF-33's and parts grew with every c-141 that landed at Davis-Monthan AFB.

I'll do some searching and see if I can find that article, maybe somebody else can beat me to it.

I don't think a B-52 with four engines would be the same, at least not for me.

501sp
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A342
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:27 am

Quoting Citation501SP (Reply 1):
I just read an article about re-engining the B-52 and it was more cost effective to keep the existing engines rather than converting to four.

I read exactly the opposite. Although it was Boeing stating that there would be savings, I believe them. Taking into account that they´ll be opeated maybe until 2044, the savings alone for fuel may cope the costs.
And for training, spares and other problems: these could be reduced by choosing an engine type which is currently opeated by the USAF. The F118/PW2000 comes to mind (C-17 and these B757 C-?A).

And: could somebody tell us the power-rating on those TF-33s ? With the info I have, 4 CFM 56 engines (the type used on the A340) would be enough to replace the 8 TF-33s if the USAF doesn´t see the need to improve the aircraft´s performance (takeoff lenght, speed etc.). Using those would allow even greater fuel savings and there is some commonality with the big KC-135 fleet as well as with the C-40As and the new P-8s.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Mon Oct 24, 2005 2:10 am

Maybe the noise and dirt of the B-52s is wanted as a psychological weapon? I don't know, but 4 boring, quiet CFM-56s would not have the same effect on the enemy like 8 TF-33s...

Also, I think its great to see the B-52 using at least some technology that really shows its age. This airframe is from the 1950s, early 1960s, so using modern engines would not really fit! A Phantom without smoke would be boring, as well (therefore I do not like the British Phantoms that much)
 
SATL382G
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:07 am

Another thing working against the reengining of the B-52 is the rudder. It's tiny!! Having been designed to compensate for the loss of one engine out of eight it isn't very big. What to do if you lose engine #8? Pull it's counterpart back to idle and use a little rudder. Not something you could do if it were converted to four engines, you'd have to use an appropriately sized rudder in that case.
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
bjornstrom
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Mon Oct 24, 2005 3:29 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 2):
And: could somebody tell us the power-rating on those TF-33s ?

http://www.shanaberger.com/engines/TF33.htm

JTD3-3: 18,000 lb (80.1 kN) thrust
TF33-P-3: 17,000 lb (75.6 kN) thrust
TF33-P-5: 18,000 lb (80.1 kN) thrust
TF33-P-7: 21,000 lb (93.4 kN) thrust
TF33-P-11: 16,000 lb (71.2 kN)
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A342
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:15 am

Quoting Bjornstrom (Reply 5):
JTD3-3: 18,000 lb (80.1 kN) thrust
TF33-P-3: 17,000 lb (75.6 kN) thrust
TF33-P-5: 18,000 lb (80.1 kN) thrust
TF33-P-7: 21,000 lb (93.4 kN) thrust
TF33-P-11: 16,000 lb (71.2 kN)

Thanks, but somebody to know which version is used ? To my knowledge, it´s the P-3.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
HT
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:14 pm

Quoting A342 (Reply 2):
The F118/PW2000 comes to mind (C-17 and these B757 C-?A).

I think, when talking about re-engining the BUFF we also have to take ground clearance into account ...
The wing of the B-52 isn´t too high above the ground thus limiting the overall height of the engine plus it´s suspension. In my eyes this eliminates most modern high-bypass engines that are in common use. Developing a dedicated one probably would be much too costly.
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
A342
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:47 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 7):
I think, when talking about re-engining the BUFF we also have to take ground clearance into account ...
The wing of the B-52 isn´t too high above the ground thus limiting the overall height of the engine plus it´s suspension. In my eyes this eliminates most modern high-bypass engines that are in common use. Developing a dedicated one probably would be much too costly.

Boeing has proposed the RB 211 which is also used on the B757, so I think they thought about this issue.
However, re-engining with 8 engines again has been proposed, namely with the RR BR-715 (used on the 717) and with the PW 6000 (used on the A318).
But then again these two types are both manufactured in Germany, so Bush won´t be happy about this.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
jwenting
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:50 am

Reengining has been proposed several times but always has been deferred for cost reasons.

It's indeed more cost effective to keep the current engines as new engines would mean a LOT more than just hang something else under those wings (that in itself wouldn't be the major part of the refit).

Training (air- and ground crew both), complete rework of the wing structure, cockpit instrumentation, probably revisions elsewhere on the airframe to account for the different CoG, aircraft handling will be changed requiring changes in the avionics, etc. etc. etc.
And then there's the massive stocks of spare parts that would need to be procured.

As there are enoug engines and spares to keep the fleet flying for another 40 years (from what I've heard) there's no logistical need.

Of course Boeing would love the job, it would bring them a nice income. They're the last source you should turn to to know if it will be cheaper in the end for the USAF  Smile
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ruger11
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:00 pm

If anyone here ever reads Dale Brown novels, he has a whole series of novels about a series of modified (extremely) B52s. Granted these are science fiction type things, but it starts with a new tail and 4 engines. I know it wouldn't happen but I did enjoy the fanstasy thought of a modern day B17, that fights it way into the enemy territory to bomb, then leaves.

Makes you eonder, is there going to be a next gen heavy bomber, and if so, will it be a UAV?
 
HT
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:25 pm

Quoting Ruger11 (Reply 10):
I know it wouldn't happen but I did enjoy the fanstasy thought of a modern day B17, that fights it way into the enemy territory to bomb, then leaves.

The part "fight its way into enemy territory" does no longer exist in modern warfare. "Stealth" (i.e. "sneaking in") is the current method.

Quoting Ruger11 (Reply 10):
Makes you wonder, is there going to be a next gen heavy bomber, and if so, will it be a UAV?

The talk is that those B52H´s will get their "mid-life" update on several aspects. So prepare to see them in USAF´s service for a number of decades to come.

After the high costs of the B-2 "Spirit", plus with all those B-52H´s and B-1B´s in stock, I doubt that the USAF will call for a new bomber in the near future.

Re "UAV": Basically those Cruise Missle´s are bombing UAV´s, but with a limited range. As "bombing an enemy" has pretty much become a "precision task" (in contrast to those field borbardements carried out in Vietnam), the task of a bomber mainly will be to carry those guided missle into range of their target undetected. And a B52 is very good at that task !
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
jwenting
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:53 pm

Carpet bombing still has its place, as was demonstrated when the Republican Guard in Iraq during Dessert Storm and lately in Afghanistan when mountainsides hiding terrorists in cave complexes were given a taste of a true rain of fire from the skies.

There's just something about bombing a place back to the stone age and then some that puts the fear of God into an enemy and makes them wonder what you're going to do next.
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stall
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Wed Oct 26, 2005 9:40 pm

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 12):
Carpet bombing still has its place, as was demonstrated when the Republican Guard in Iraq during Dessert Storm and lately in Afghanistan when mountainsides hiding terrorists in cave complexes were given a taste of a true rain of fire from the skies.

It didn't work that well in Vietnam  Yeah sure

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 12):
There's just something about bombing a place back to the stone age and then some that puts the fear of God into an enemy and makes them wonder what you're going to do next.

An airforce can bomb as much they can you still need an occupation army to do the job.
Flying is fun
 
jwenting
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:03 am

Quoting Stall (Reply 13):
It didn't work that well in Vietnam

It would have worked had the politicians left the planning and execution of the campaign to the airforce instead of insisting in placing every single bomb themselves to do as little damage as possible.

Quoting Stall (Reply 13):
An airforce can bomb as much they can you still need an occupation army to do the job.

True. But the bombers sure make it easier for the groundforces to move in as they destroy the opponent's will and ability to fight.
I wish I were flying
 
drewfly
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RE: Why Hasn't The B52 Been Reengined?

Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:05 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 3):
Maybe the noise and dirt of the B-52s is wanted as a psychological weapon? I don't know, but 4 boring, quiet CFM-56s would not have the same effect on the enemy like 8 TF-33s...

If mean 8 giant "I'm right here" signs then yes, more efficient, more reliable, quieter engines with a lower IR signature would have a much different effect on the enemy. I suppose a much more positive effect for the crew too. Psychological warfare means nothing when you've got SAMs heading your way at Mach 3+.

Quoting A342 (Reply 8):
Boeing has proposed the RB 211 which is also used on the B757, so I think they thought about this issue.
However, re-engining with 8 engines again has been proposed, namely with the RR BR-715 (used on the 717) and with the PW 6000 (used on the A318).
But then again these two types are both manufactured in Germany, so Bush won´t be happy about this.

First off Bush doesn't make that decision. Second, Pratt is an American company. Rolls Royce is a British company, and their engines are already in service with the US Military in the C-20, C-37, C-130, T-45, AV-8B, E-2, C-2, Tomahawk & AGM-86 cruise missiles, Global Hawk, plus a few more I can't think of at the moment.
A-10 Thunderbolt II, ugly as hell, efficient as hell, would you like to meet my boomstick?

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