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  NASA's B-52B "mothership" air-launch aircraft is being retired

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Author Topic:   NASA's B-52B "mothership" air-launch aircraft is being retired
Jacques van Oene

Posts: 715
From: Houten, The Netherlands
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 12-08-2004 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jacques van Oene     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Having dropped advanced flight research vehicles rather than bombs over an illustrious career spanning nearly a half century, NASA's B-52B "mothership" air-launch aircraft is being retired.

The Air Force Flight Test Center and NASA Dryden Flight Research Center will jointly host a formal retirement ceremony for the revered aircraft at 10 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2004 at NASA Dryden, located on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The ceremony will include a formal transfer of the B-52B by NASA Dryden center director Kevin Petersen to Brig. Gen. Curtis M. Bedke, commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center, for its final disposition. Tentative plans call for placing the aircraft on permanent display at Edwards AFB.

Operated by NASA Dryden for most of its lifetime, NASA's venerable B-52B has participated in some of the most significant projects in aerospace history. At retirement, the air launch and research aircraft holds the distinction of being NASA's oldest aircraft, as well as being the oldest B-52 still flyable. At the same time, it has the lowest number of flying hours of any B-52 in operation, having been used exclusively in the role it has continued to perform so reliably for nearly 50 years.

Bearing NASA tail number 008, the B-52B first flew in June 1955 and was flown by the Air Force in the B-52 test program for several years before it was modified to support the X-15 research aircraft program at NASA Dryden in 1959. It flew its last research mission Nov. 16, 2004, launching the scramjet-powered X-43A on its record Mach 9.6 flight over the Pacific Ocean.


Jacques :-)

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited December 08, 2004).]


Posts: 3043
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-08-2004 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is it being replaced with?

Paul Bramley


Posts: 300
From: Martinez, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 12-09-2004 02:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cfreeze79   Click Here to Email cfreeze79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another B-52, an H model... 61-0025

"Balls Two-Five" just doesn't have the same ring...


Posts: 1287
From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 12-09-2004 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope she's not sent to the scrap yard at Davis-Monthan. She deserves much better than that.


Posts: 1657
From: Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Registered: May 2004

posted 12-09-2004 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You folks should lobby the Smithsonian to have them add it to their inventory or what about the USAF museum at Dayton? I think they'd need to extend the R&D hangar to fit that bird in... might be a good idea though as you can't get a decent photo of the XB-70 what with all the other research airplanes sitting around it.

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