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Flight Craft 31: Boeing B-52 Stratofortress (ePub)

Aviation > Pilots

By Ben Skipper
Imprint: Air World
Series: Flight Craft
File Size: 41.3 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781399080040
Published: 30th June 2024

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First flown in 1952, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress became the ultimate expression of Cold War very heavy bomber design. The last of the famous ‘Fortress’ series of aircraft produced by the legendary Seattle-based company, the B-52 was created over a weekend in a hotel suite in Ohio, resulting in a design that gave America’s post-war Strategic Air Command, led by General Curtis Le May, an additional nuclear-capable edge.

The B-52 was almost as big as Convair’s B-36 Peacemaker, the largest serial-produced piston-powered aircraft ever built. The B-52 could carry a very similar bomb load, but flew it further, higher and faster. The turbojet-powered B-52 utilized techniques Boeing had learned from the Model 450 B-47 Stratojet and was designed to meet the Strategic Air Command’s ever-changing needs in the nuclear age.

Like its predecessors, Boeing’s B-52 proved to be a highly flexible aircraft, capable of carrying increasing payloads, meaning it has remained in service well beyond its expected lifespan. Over the decades the B-52 gradually become a strategic and tactical airborne platform capable of delivering evermore deadly attacks against targets in various environments, from jungle to arid mountains. The B-52 had become the universal tool for commanders on the ground and a symbol of American military power, capable of striking a target anywhere in the world – as evidenced by its deployment in, for example, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. Such was its potency, that the USAF and Boeing had developed an aeroplane of such importance that it now seems impossible to discuss conventional air power without including the B-52.

This Flight Craft title offers the aviation enthusiast, historian and modeller an exciting selection of B-52-related resources through photographs, illustrations and excellent showcase examples to help build their own versions of this fearsome military aircraft.

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About Ben Skipper

Ben Skipper is a freelance writer with over 100 articles on art, military and field sports subjects. He’s a member of the Society of Authors, the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists and the NUJ as well as being an Honorary Member of the Pen and Sword Club (military journalists and writers).

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