The U.S. Air Force initially deployed the Boeing B-52 in 1955. Some forecasts indicate it may remain in use until 2040. At the beginnings of the Cold War, Air Force leaders believed the best way to attack hostile countries would be with nuclear weapons from high altitude at high speed. Boeing engineers originally designed the B-52 for that mission. When the Air Force used the B-52 in combat in the Vietnam War, however, individual aircraft typically dropped dozens and dozens of 500-pound bombs from high altitude.
This particular airplane was one of 193 G-models built at Boeing's Wichita plant and spent its entire life in-service with Strategic Air Command until placed on long-term loan with the Museum. The plane is powered by eight PW J57-P-43WB engines and had accumulated 15,305 hours of flight time by retirement. Research has confirmed that this airplane was one of 110 G-model B-52s which saw combat duty during the Vietnam War as part of operation Bullet Shot/Linebacker.
This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.