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View Diary: Flying the B-52 - Part 1 (216 comments)

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  •  I remember being airborne and watching (8+ / 0-)

    BUFFs climb out of Carswell...impressive.  I think they had J-79 engines on them with no smoke suppression, if I'm not mistaken the same ones as on the original Phantom, less the afterburner.  Still a lot of power.  I shot an approach into Carswell one night, and they didn't give me adequate spacing behind the BUFF in front of me, talk about wake turbulence!  I had to go missed and come back around (thanks, BUFF drivers :) ).

    Nothing like being in on the SIOP, eh?  Buh bye Soviet target of choice.  Never envied you guys having to go to your launch points and circle for god knows how many hours waiting to "go".  Must have been nerve racking to be airborne alert.  

    Made for some good movies though, "Fail Safe" and of course, "Dr Strangelove".  Yeee Haw!

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 02:26:36 PM PST

    •  Fail Safe. Perhaps my favorite war movie. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Randomfactor, Simplify
    •  B-58s had J-79s. B-52s had J-57s. (5+ / 0-)
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      NYFM, Simplify, markdd, Alumbrados, Turbonerd

      But B-58s did operate from Carswell; they were produced right across the airfield, I think, in a plant that had produced B-36s previously.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:53:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Read the Huslter served only 4 yrs in front line (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby

        service, then enough 52's had been produced.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:56:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was hideously expensive, (0+ / 0-)

          both to build and to operate. And it was pretty inflexible operationally, built only to fly kind far, really fast, and drop one big nuke. They did put 4 hardpoints on the rear of the wing later on, for 4 more nukes. But it couldn't do much at low altitude, had no guns, no weapons bay. It had a big pod for fuel and the one big nuke.

          I think it actually served around 10 years, but not too many for the first few years.

          the Wiki on it says the unit cost was about 12.4 million (in about 1960), and operational cost was about 3 times that of the B-52.

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:34:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Old Wings Magazine (1+ / 0-)
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            billmosby

            58's served for about 20 years, but only 4 years front line, I think I read it in Wings Mag about 15 yrs ago, still have that issue in a box.

            Yeah thats right - the one big nuke in the belly pod thinga ma jig.

            But she sure was pretty.....

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:19:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Great mag, I have all of them from early 1971 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roger Fox

              thru the end, that and their alternate sister Airpower. I think they ceased publication in around 2007 or so.

              The B-58 program itself started in 1949, the same year I was born. They dithered around for quite a while, then settled on a design around 1952. First flight was Nov 1956, flight test ended April 1959, final one rolled off the assembly line Oct 1962, and then the program ended in 1970 when they all ended up in the boneyard at Davis Monthan. When I was in the AF at D-M starting in 1972 the fleet was still there. They were finally scrapped in 1977. I read all this in the wikipedia on the B-58, but it confirms what I remembered about it from following the program over the years.

              Anyway, the entire program went for about 20 years, as you say. But they were only flying for about 14 of that, counting the prototypes.

              Moderation in most things.

              by billmosby on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:59:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  The Former GD/FW plant (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby, KenBee

        Aka AF Plant #4.  Built early in WWII to build B-24's far from the coast and possible Japanese invasion.  Various companies operated the plant (I think the USAF 'owns' the building); Consolidated, Convair, General Dynamics, then Lockheed Martin took over.

        They built the B-24, PB4Y (Navy B-24), B-36, B-58, F-111 and F-16 in the mile long main assembly building.

        “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

        by markdd on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:54:15 PM PST

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    •  B-58 Hustler in the original "Failsafe" movie (4+ / 0-)

      In the softcover book Failsafe I read in the early 70's they used B-52's.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:53:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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