timh4000
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Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:10 am

1st, I'm in no way a hater of the B-52 I'm typically fascinated with most of our military aircraft now and in the past.

Even though I appreciate its roles in all of the conflicts we've been starting with Vietnam war. At this point I fail to see its relevance. I'm really not arguing for a scrap, if anything I want you guys to re convince me we still fly it for a good reason. On the prosecutors side though, maintenance. Simply from age, and in an age where 4 engines are too much, this big beauty has 8. It's slow at low level, slower than the B-1. The B-1 also has a larger payload, can fly supersonic at a higher altitude. The B-2... stealth, comes in undetected. The enemy has just about enough time to get off a "oh shit".

What keeps the B-52 in service? What does it have the others don't. It's slow, looks like a giant brick on radar. It's got inferior speed, maneuverability and pay load to the B-1. I'm willing to listen why do we still fly it?
 
Ozair
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:28 am

timh4000 wrote:
1st, I'm in no way a hater of the B-52 I'm typically fascinated with most of our military aircraft now and in the past.

Even though I appreciate its roles in all of the conflicts we've been starting with Vietnam war. At this point I fail to see its relevance. I'm really not arguing for a scrap, if anything I want you guys to re convince me we still fly it for a good reason. On the prosecutors side though, maintenance. Simply from age, and in an age where 4 engines are too much, this big beauty has 8. It's slow at low level, slower than the B-1. The B-1 also has a larger payload, can fly supersonic at a higher altitude. The B-2... stealth, comes in undetected. The enemy has just about enough time to get off a "oh shit".

What keeps the B-52 in service? What does it have the others don't. It's slow, looks like a giant brick on radar. It's got inferior speed, maneuverability and pay load to the B-1. I'm willing to listen why do we still fly it?

Have a listen to the following episode from the fighter pilot podcast, https://www.fighterpilotpodcast.com/epi ... ofortress/

It has some good examples of why the B-52 is still relevant today.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:36 am

The B-52 is certified to a high standard due to its mission. It was decided that the big need was in the B-21 Raider, the B-52 then covers a lot of missions that clearly do not require stealth. Like the KC-135 some seem to live forever.

A proposed refurb replacing the engines, wing skins, and other major items is badly needed if it is to go 20 more years.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:32 am

It is the best stand-off missile truck in the inventory.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:59 am

timh4000 wrote:
... It's slow at low level, slower than the B-1. The B-1 also has a larger payload, can fly supersonic at a higher altitude.

What keeps the B-52 in service? What does it have the others don't. It's slow, looks like a giant brick on radar. It's got inferior speed, maneuverability and pay load to the B-1. I'm willing to listen why do we still fly it?

Nukes.

The B-1 is not able to carry nuclear weapons (for political reasons). The B-2 fleet is small and expensive. So the B-52 is the only strategic bomber available in numbers, and will remain so until ~100 B-21 have been delivered. (It will replace the B-1 first)
 
timh4000
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:41 pm

Ozair wrote:
timh4000 wrote:
1st, I'm in no way a hater of the B-52 I'm typically fascinated with most of our military aircraft now and in the past.

Even though I appreciate its roles in all of the conflicts we've been starting with Vietnam war. At this point I fail to see its relevance. I'm really not arguing for a scrap, if anything I want you guys to re convince me we still fly it for a good reason. On the prosecutors side though, maintenance. Simply from age, and in an age where 4 engines are too much, this big beauty has 8. It's slow at low level, slower than the B-1. The B-1 also has a larger payload, can fly supersonic at a higher altitude. The B-2... stealth, comes in undetected. The enemy has just about enough time to get off a "oh shit".

What keeps the B-52 in service? What does it have the others don't. It's slow, looks like a giant brick on radar. It's got inferior speed, maneuverability and pay load to the B-1. I'm willing to listen why do we still fly it?

Have a listen to the following episode from the fighter pilot podcast, https://www.fighterpilotpodcast.com/epi ... ofortress/

It does have some good examples of why the B-52 is still relevant today
I'll be honest and tell you that I watched parts of the podcast. It's a long and very dry podcast. I did listen to all the different aspects along with its history as I occasionally bumped it 5 or 10 minutes.

One thing that I don't believe there was a big emphasis but yet for whatever reason it became quite versatile. I think initially around 1950 when it was being designed, was sort of the next generation of bomber that essentially did what all the others had, but with a bigger payload and far enhanced performance. It was designed specifically for the cold war of the 1950's. And had we had a nuclear war in the 50's the B-52 probably would win it for us, not there'd be much left, but we would eventually get the w.

Somehow they discovered all kinds of ways to modify it. In effect, yes, it has relevance with 3rd world terrorist campaigns which is pretty much what war is today.

While the U.S. and Russia still have a formidable stockpile of nukes designed for each other, it's hard to think of any situation which would cause us to go back down the cold war road. Although I don't know if any of the stories mainly about russian separatists have a reality to them that are
able to seize the Russian government. Anything beyond that the modern nuclear exchange is likely to be smaller low yield targeting military targets with bunker busters. We still, have plenty of multi megaton warheads that will obliviate most, pretty much all of the population and infrastructure, which would not end the war with today's hardened military targets, but it made the cold war obsolete. I don't really know why it took both countries so long to figure out the relevance of winning the war when there isn't enough country left of either to fill up Rode island. Funny though that we still keep thousands of war heads around even today. We are never going to each other into a situation where we would ever go there. I'm sure there's a few Macnamaras around who would still be willing to go all out just to say we won, while they live the rest of their life in radiation proof bunkers.

3rd world though, that's another story... I would think our current best bomber for that would be the B-1 with its low level high speed terrain guidance. But in reality any of our bombers can launch its payload from over a hundred miles away, if that is what they are carrying. The B-52 is probably the best at carpet bombing if our targets are not an AA threat. I suppose war as turned in such a way that the B-52 and the B-1 which was initially a high altitude supersonic version of the original B-52 missions.

In business, time is money. In the military time is about winning. So, the D.O.D may not have a problem spending the money to keep the frames still operating as they approach 70, it's the time it takes and that the B-1 is also now aging out and facing similar problems. The problem with any of our 3 bombers, we don't have a lot of them and yet they need and will need to spend considerable time remaining flight worthiness.
Oh. And one last thing, currently the B-1'S are not able to carry nukes and it's not in its mission parameters. I do believe it would not take considerable time to convert them back over.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:49 pm

She's so beautiful:

Image
 
timh4000
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:05 pm

DigitalSea wrote:
She's so beautiful:

Image

That she is. On the ground or in the air. In Sheppard AFB where I trained to be a medical technician we used to march around a gutted out frame there as base decor lol. It's one think to put a 104 out but a B-52...I used to imagine its raids in Vietnam and what it must have like as a pilot or just a member of the crew in the cockpit.

I don't know that has a rotate speed. I think they call out v1 then just wait a couple more seconds and the frame just sort of floats up lol
The most worthless of all its accidents happened at an air show at Fairchild in 1994 The pilot went into this turn and I have no idea what he was thinking. He had it way past its limits. I'm a little surprised it hung in there as long as it did.

https://youtu.be/182AepOJjMs
 
Buckeyetech
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:08 pm

She’s the only bomb truck we honestly have now. The B-1’s mission capable rates have plummeted. Why we keep the requirement to have nuclear-tipped missile mission for her is beyond me. I can’t envision any scenario where we would use them, which of course the B-2 can do as well. Is that a congressional requirement? If I had ultimate authority, I would scrap the B-1s to save money.
B-52H, C-141C, C-5A, C-17A
 
timh4000
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:00 am

So you feel the B52 is a better option than the B-1? The B-1 has actually a bigger payload, has the supersonic ability, it has the auto terrain guidance, is significantly smaller in terms of radar detection, although it's not a true stealth machine. Its getting up there in years but still younger than the B-52. Personally I think we are in a lousy spot bomber wise. 2 aging out of date planes and a micro fleet of stealth bombers that has fairly limited missions due to its lacking in performance. Granted, it's not suppose to be seen, but if it does it's extremely vulnerable.
 
mmo
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:23 am

timh4000 wrote:
So you feel the B52 is a better option than the B-1? The B-1 has actually a bigger payload, has the supersonic ability, it has the auto terrain guidance,


Interesting justification. The payload on the B-1 is not significantly larger than the B-52. It is larger but not by that much. While it does have supersonic ability, it has not been used. The B-1 was flying low and slow to allow longer on-station time. That has taken a toll on the structure and the B-1 now faces major structural issues from all the flying it has done. In fact, the USAF is considering deactivation of the low-level ability in order to possibly extend the life of the airframe.

Should the B-52 get re-engined, the endurance or loiter time will be significantly increased, not to mention the decrease in maintenance requirements which should help the MR rate.

Someone was asking about the LRSO and why is it being put on B-52, although their question implicated the B-1. It is being put on the BUFF because the range of 1300 KMs allows the B-52 to be a standoff weapon and the LRSO will have the ability to penetrate highly defended airspace and proceed to a selected target. The numbers of B-1 vs B-52 make it pretty clear the fleet has more airframes of the Buff than the Bone.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
timh4000
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:19 pm

I saw a doc on the B-1 years ago when they were flying the low terrain high subsonic flights. All under autopilot control. Reason being was that human pilots were not able to respond quick enough without losing control or something of that nature. I imagine as a pilot that's a lot of faith in the tech. I can also see where it would reduce the amount of hours and cycles it runs. Today the missions either can run these days is fairly limited. Although currently the B-1 is not set up to carry nuclear armament, while I can't say for certain, I'd be willing to bet the changeover would not be super complicated or time consuming....although I could be wrong.

Currently we are very strong with out tactical defense. Any number of aircraft that can get the job done. Meanwhile our strategic defense has fallen to perhaps its lowest state of readiness and capability in many decades. Perhaps it's the current state of warfare that is making the heavy bomber somewhat obsolete, but I'd still like to see it in better shape than this.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:20 pm

timh4000 wrote:
DigitalSea wrote:
She's so beautiful:

Image

That she is. On the ground or in the air. In Sheppard AFB where I trained to be a medical technician we used to march around a gutted out frame there as base decor lol. It's one think to put a 104 out but a B-52...I used to imagine its raids in Vietnam and what it must have like as a pilot or just a member of the crew in the cockpit.

I don't know that has a rotate speed. I think they call out v1 then just wait a couple more seconds and the frame just sort of floats up lol
The most worthless of all its accidents happened at an air show at Fairchild in 1994 The pilot went into this turn and I have no idea what he was thinking. He had it way past its limits. I'm a little surprised it hung in there as long as it did.

https://youtu.be/182AepOJjMs


I heard that the pilot flying the B-52 at Fairchild AFB was a real hotshot and liked to show off.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:05 pm

timh4000 wrote:
I saw a doc on the B-1 years ago when they were flying the low terrain high subsonic flights. All under autopilot control. Reason being was that human pilots were not able to respond quick enough without losing control or something of that nature. I imagine as a pilot that's a lot of faith in the tech. I can also see where it would reduce the amount of hours and cycles it runs. Today the missions either can run these days is fairly limited. Although currently the B-1 is not set up to carry nuclear armament, while I can't say for certain, I'd be willing to bet the changeover would not be super complicated or time consuming....although I could be wrong.

Currently we are very strong with out tactical defense. Any number of aircraft that can get the job done. Meanwhile our strategic defense has fallen to perhaps its lowest state of readiness and capability in many decades. Perhaps it's the current state of warfare that is making the heavy bomber somewhat obsolete, but I'd still like to see it in better shape than this.


Certifying to be nuclear is a big deal, I don't know the aircraft standards but I have worked around the Naval programs. New unique rules, higher safety factors, lots of test evaluations, it goes forever. The missile transporter makes a 100 ton mobile crane look light weight but cannot have more than a 2% side slope or 12% grade, because the safety factor on overturning was so high. The certification was removed from the B-1, it would have been continued if it was easy.
 
Ozair
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:44 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Certifying to be nuclear is a big deal, I don't know the aircraft standards but I have worked around the Naval programs. New unique rules, higher safety factors, lots of test evaluations, it goes forever. The missile transporter makes a 100 ton mobile crane look light weight but cannot have more than a 2% side slope or 12% grade, because the safety factor on overturning was so high. The certification was removed from the B-1, it would have been continued if it was easy.

The hurdle to make the B-1B is a political one. The aircraft were denuked for START reasons but you can see in the below quote the work that was undertaken to remove their nuclear capability.

"The exterior attachment points, or the hard points, on the aircraft, were modified to prevent nuclear pylons from ever being attached to the jet," said Master Sgt. Brian Hudson, a B-1 avionics manager at Air Force Global Strike Command.

"Within the weapons bays themselves, there were wire bundles that were cut and removed to prevent arming of the nuclear weapons. Finally, the last step was to destroy the pylons themselves," Hudson said of the external equipment mounted to aircraft.

The conversion process was initiated under the START Treaty, and the final conversion took place in 2011, he said.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... bombs.html

It isn't a great cost to put the capability back in.

"It's a moot point," Vantiger said of what it would cost, or what it would take to make the B-1 nuclear capable again.

But is it impossible?

"Anything is possible with money and time," Vantiger said. "But it's nothing the U.S. government is looking to do."

"It isn't so much the cost of converting the plane to carry nukes; that would be relatively minimal," added Richard Aboulafia, vice president and analyst at the Teal Group, a defense consultancy in Virginia.

The bigger issue is "the costs associated with giving the plane the ability to penetrate defended airspace, which would be $2-3 billion dollars, at least," Aboulafia said in an email.


As Aboulafia correctly identifies, the B-1B is no longer capable of surviving in a high threat environment. It has completed sterling service over the last 20 years in the middle east but that has worn the fleet down so much so that, as others have posted, the cost to bring the fleet back to high availability may be too great.

As for whether the B-1B is a better investment than the B-52 long term the complexity of the B-1B structure means it is more difficult to sustain than the B-52, even with the B-52 60 year old engines and wing skin issues.

Both platforms continue to have a strategic role though through their use as cruise missile carriers for High threat environments. The USAF is looking to increase JASSM stocks to 10000 and also increase LRASM and both platforms are ideal for their use.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is increasing potential long-term production quantities of Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) from a possible maximum of 4,900 to a possible maximum of 10,000.

https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 10.article

timh4000 wrote:
Currently we are very strong with out tactical defense. Any number of aircraft that can get the job done. Meanwhile our strategic defense has fallen to perhaps its lowest state of readiness and capability in many decades. Perhaps it's the current state of warfare that is making the heavy bomber somewhat obsolete, but I'd still like to see it in better shape than this.

As above, the role as cruise missile carrier is the current expectation of both the B-52 and the B-1B. With a current stockpile of 5000 missiles and expectations of double that there is plenty of work for them to do. Additionally both would be candidates for initial integration with hypersonic weapons but the B-52 appears to be the candidate of choice.
 
TommyBahama
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:21 pm

I have heard that one of the benefits of keeping the B-52 around is that it is clearly visible on radar. If the powers that be want to send a message, launch a few B-52’s and have them loiter just outside the territorial boundary. Ups the pressure without the commitment of an actual attack.
 
Oroka
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:09 pm

Aircraft are becoming less about the air frame and more about the avionics, so you can significantly upgrade older aircraft if you dont need to change its role. That is a big issue that is slowly going away, the idea that every generation needs to be a huge advancement over the previous. If you look at the F-35, the air frame has had little modifications, the vast majority has been working out bugs in the avionics. When those systems are mature, they could be plausibly be retrofitted into other aircraft that has the space to accommodate it, and the development time and cost would be significantly shortened.
 
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ssteve
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:00 pm

Oroka wrote:
Aircraft are becoming less about the air frame and more about the avionics, so you can significantly upgrade older aircraft if you dont need to change its role.


And since the B-52, no one has made a really huge wing with a comparatively tiny fuselage... something that is still in demand, but not for the cost of a new airframe.
 
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aeromoe
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:09 pm

timh4000 wrote:
The most worthless of all its accidents happened at an air show at Fairchild in 1994


Didn't happen at the airshow, it happened during practice for the airshow. No-so-subtle difference in that potentially 10's of thousands of people didn't witness the horror of the crash. Family members did though and that must have been terrible.
AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR BY B6 CO CP(2) DG DL EA EI EN FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(1) OZ(2) PA PI PT QF QQ RM RO RV(1) RV(2) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(2) ZZ 9K
 
timh4000
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:54 pm

Well that's good at least it wasn't in front of the whole crowd. I too thought it happened during an actual show. Still, that turn he attempted was insane. I know they like to trick up empty planes with just a little fuel so they can do quick take offs, point the nose nearly vertical for a couple of seconds. They bank them pretty sharp through a series of turns... what he attempted in that plane, it looked to be a 60° bank, maybe even more. You can see the wing starting to lose lift and I think rather than just going "oops, too far" and pull out of the turn but instead he looked like he was trying to hang onto it keeping it right on the line of the wing stall, then you see it loose all lift and they were gone in just a few seconds. That's the way it appears to me as I watch it. Even if that wasn't the case the crew had just enough time to get out a "oh shit" before an instant death. I hate the ones where the passengers and crew have time to think about it.
 
jupiter2
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:40 pm

timh4000 wrote:
Well that's good at least it wasn't in front of the whole crowd. I too thought it happened during an actual show. Still, that turn he attempted was insane. I know they like to trick up empty planes with just a little fuel so they can do quick take offs, point the nose nearly vertical for a couple of seconds. They bank them pretty sharp through a series of turns... what he attempted in that plane, it looked to be a 60° bank, maybe even more. You can see the wing starting to lose lift and I think rather than just going "oops, too far" and pull out of the turn but instead he looked like he was trying to hang onto it keeping it right on the line of the wing stall, then you see it loose all lift and they were gone in just a few seconds. That's the way it appears to me as I watch it. Even if that wasn't the case the crew had just enough time to get out a "oh shit" before an instant death. I hate the ones where the passengers and crew have time to think about it.


You don't point the nose of a B-52 vertical, it just doesn't fly that way. They appear to levitate off the ground and if anything, the initial climb has an almost nose down attitude, awesome aircraft.
 
timh4000
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:15 am

In air shows I was referring to the airliners. Sorry to not make that clear. I know the B52 doesn't do a steep climb. I mentioned that in an earlier post.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:28 pm

Just to emphasize the "complexity" of the B-1. It is a swing wing aircraft. The extra weight of the wing mechanism (needed for high speed) make it less efficient as a bomb truck.

How many swing wing aircrafts will be flying into the distance future?

bt
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HaveBlue
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:31 pm

timh4000 wrote:
what he attempted in that plane, it looked to be a 60° bank, maybe even more. You can see the wing starting to lose lift and I think rather than just going "oops, too far" and pull out of the turn but instead he looked like he was trying to hang onto it keeping it right on the line of the wing stall, then you see it loose all lift and they were gone in just a few seconds.


And as bank angle increases so does the stall speed. So lets say (arbitrary numbers) that a B-52 will stall at 100 knots in clean configuration in level flight, if it maintains level flight but banks 45 degrees the stall speed may now be 120 knots and at 60' 140 knots. Deadly game to play with such a large aircraft at such a low altitude, obviously.
 
timh4000
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:18 am

Sometimes even at or above those speeds a wing stall can occur. You can see it go when the plane instantly went to about 90 degrees and it only took a couple seconds for it to become a fireball.
 
DALMD80
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:07 pm

timh4000 wrote:
1st, I'm in no way a hater of the B-52 I'm typically fascinated with most of our military aircraft now and in the past.

Even though I appreciate its roles in all of the conflicts we've been starting with Vietnam war. At this point I fail to see its relevance. I'm really not arguing for a scrap, if anything I want you guys to re convince me we still fly it for a good reason. On the prosecutors side though, maintenance. Simply from age, and in an age where 4 engines are too much, this big beauty has 8. It's slow at low level, slower than the B-1. The B-1 also has a larger payload, can fly supersonic at a higher altitude. The B-2... stealth, comes in undetected. The enemy has just about enough time to get off a "oh shit".

What keeps the B-52 in service? What does it have the others don't. It's slow, looks like a giant brick on radar. It's got inferior speed, maneuverability and pay load to the B-1. I'm willing to listen why do we still fly it?

The B-52, first of all, is the only fleet that has large numbers AND can carry nukes. It also has a psychological impact beyond measure. Sure, it's a flying bomb truck, but the psychological aspect of a flight of 5 armed B-52s flying over you is tough to beat. The -52 is also more survivable, given its 8 engines. It's more vulnerable to heat-seeking SAM's, sure, but at the same time, with 8 engines, losing 1 or 2 doesn't really make a dent in your ability to get back to base. It's not really a "modern" bomber by any means, and that can be a good thing! With fewer hackable systems, all the critical flight instruments are secure, meaning that they can't be used to give a false indication and cause a crash. There's a great reason to keep the BUFF in the fleet.
SAVE THE MAD DOGS!! Seriously, get a ride on one while you can. They'll be gone by the end of the year.
 
mmo
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:56 pm

DALMD80 wrote:
The B-52, first of all, is the only fleet that has large numbers AND can carry nukes. It also has a psychological impact beyond measure. Sure, it's a flying bomb truck, but the psychological aspect of a flight of 5 armed B-52s flying over you is tough to beat. The -52 is also more survivable, given its 8 engines. It's more vulnerable to heat-seeking SAM's, sure, but at the same time, with 8 engines, losing 1 or 2 doesn't really make a dent in your ability to get back to base. It's not really a "modern" bomber by any means, and that can be a good thing! With fewer hackable systems, all the critical flight instruments are secure, meaning that they can't be used to give a false indication and cause a crash. There's a great reason to keep the BUFF in the fleet.


First of all the only nukes the Buff can carry are JASSM and JASSM-ER and the AGM-86. They do not carry any gravity bomb nukes.

Regarding the SAM, the current doctrine has the BUFF operating out of the high threat area where there would be little threat from SAMs. The plane is still vulnerable to an AA heat-seeking missile. However, if low-level tactics are used the difficulty increases. During past Red Flag exercises, the red forces were constantly surprised how difficult it was to get a lock on of the IR signature of the engines. The reason was the placement of the engines under the wing and the inability of the aggressor to get in a position to get a lock on. The only way a lock on could be gotten was to be at the same altitude or lower, which is somewhat difficult in the low-level arena.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
rdu777
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Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:54 am

mmo wrote:
DALMD80 wrote:
The B-52, first of all, is the only fleet that has large numbers AND can carry nukes. It also has a psychological impact beyond measure. Sure, it's a flying bomb truck, but the psychological aspect of a flight of 5 armed B-52s flying over you is tough to beat. The -52 is also more survivable, given its 8 engines. It's more vulnerable to heat-seeking SAM's, sure, but at the same time, with 8 engines, losing 1 or 2 doesn't really make a dent in your ability to get back to base. It's not really a "modern" bomber by any means, and that can be a good thing! With fewer hackable systems, all the critical flight instruments are secure, meaning that they can't be used to give a false indication and cause a crash. There's a great reason to keep the BUFF in the fleet.


First of all the only nukes the Buff can carry are JASSM and JASSM-ER and the AGM-86. They do not carry any gravity bomb nukes.

Regarding the SAM, the current doctrine has the BUFF operating out of the high threat area where there would be little threat from SAMs. The plane is still vulnerable to an AA heat-seeking missile. However, if low-level tactics are used the difficulty increases. During past Red Flag exercises, the red forces were constantly surprised how difficult it was to get a lock on of the IR signature of the engines. The reason was the placement of the engines under the wing and the inability of the aggressor to get in a position to get a lock on. The only way a lock on could be gotten was to be at the same altitude or lower, which is somewhat difficult in the low-level arena.


JASSM and JASSM-ER are conventional cruise missiles. The AGM-86B is the only nuclear cruise missile currently carried by the B-52. Sorry if this was some sort of sarcasm that I completely missed.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4626
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Is the B-52 still a worthy bomber for our fleet

Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:43 am

A topical article given we have been discussing the B-52’s relevance so recently.

The long reign of the B-52


The B-52 Stratofortress entered into service in the 1950s. With the Cold War in full swing, the bomber became an integral part of the US’ nuclear deterrent as a part of the Nuclear Triad, alongside intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear-armed submarines. Decades later the aircraft is still integral in this role.

Technology has changed radically since then, with the development of advanced anti-air systems, stealth aircraft and more. Somehow, in this rapid pace of change, the B-52 has managed to stay relevant, functional, and critical to operations, fulfilling a wide range of roles from strategic attack and close air support to offensive air and sea operations over the past 70-odd years.

Describing how the B-52 has managed to stay relevant for so long, the US Air Force’s 2nd Bomb Wing told us: “First, the United States needs a long-range strike platform capable of striking targets around the globe and the B-52 has continued to be a workhorse because we have adapted to the changing environment. We also have a reliable plane maintained by top-notch professionals, and flown by a new generation who is eager to remain on the leading edge of tactical employment.”

...

https://www.airforce-technology.com/fea ... -the-b-52/

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