Beware the bite of the Black Widow. It is deadly!
This Boeing B-52H Stratofortress “Black 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.
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).
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.