Aviation Nation 2014: Boeing B-52H “Black Widow”

Beware the bite of the Black Widow. It is deadly!

USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
USAF Boeing B-52H Statofortress “Black Widow”
USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
“Black Widow” nose marking
USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
This B-52H dates back to 1960

This Boeing B-52H StratofortressBlack Widow” at Aviation Nation 2014 (Nellis AFB, Nevada) is one of the remaining 58 active and 18 ready reserve (in storage) B-52H strategic bombers still in USAF service (the only variant still operational – 102 H models were delivered between 1961 and 1962). They are capable of carrying cruise missiles, guided munitions and bombs depending on the required mission.

USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
One big bird, the B-52 still dominates all other aircraft in the popularity stakes at an air show
USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
The B-52H will remain in service until at least 2030
USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
USAF Boeing B-52H Statofortress “Black Widow”
USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
The last of the B-52 line the H model has received extensive avionics, weapons system and airframe upgrades to remain combat ready
USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
A mighty strategic bomber
USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
Despite its age, the sheer scale of the B-52 accompanied by its deadly capability is something to respect

In total 744 B-52 B/C/D/E/F/G/H models were delivered to the USAF between 1955 and 1962 and have seen extensive combat during the Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan where they unleashed their destructive capability to deadly effect. This particular B-52H was manufactured in 1960 (Boeing B-52H-155-BW Construction Number 464421) and is assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota (the B-52H is also operated by the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana).

USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
The mighty B-52H has outlasted all others and has been in service for over 50 years!
USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
This B-52H hails from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota
USAF Boeing B-52H Black Widow USAF Aviation Nation 2014 Nellis AFB
8 Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3/103 turbofan engines power the B-52H

With extensive avionics systems, weapons systems and structural upgrades the B-52H is expected to remain in service until at least 2030. Some 70 years since they first were delivered! It really is amazing they can keep the “Buff” flying for that long. Can you imagine the USAF still flying a World War Two era Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as a frontline bomber today (the last B-17’s were retired from USAF service in the mid 1950’s)? Long may the B-52 grace our skies.

Formation Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress and Boeing B-52H Stratofortress in 2006
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress and Boeing B-52H Stratofortress in 2006 (Photo Source: USAF)
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