The first type B-52 heavy bomber took off on this day in 1952. These bombers are still used today, and will probably remain in use in the 2040s.
The first Boeing B-52 Stratofortress (Stratospheric fortress) bomber took off on this day in 1952. This is probably the most famous bomber in the entire history of the world. A cocktail (B-52) and a musical group (The B-52’s) are even named after it. B-52 type bombers have been flying for more than 60 years. The U.S. Air Force (USAF) uses them often, and they will probably remain in use in the 2040s, which is an almost incredible longevity.
B-52 Stratofortress was the backbone of the U.S. strategic bomber fleet during the Cold War. Several hundred of these aircraft were used during that time. If there had been a nuclear attack, these aircraft would have attacked the USSR with nuclear bombs. Some of them were aimed at about 20 different targets with their nuclear weapons, each with a warhead of 210 kilotons (13 times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb). Except for potential nuclear strikes, the B-52 was used for conventional attacks (attacks with non-nuclear weapons). In this case, it used to carry about 31,500 kg of various bombs and other weapons.
Interestingly, B-52 has eight jet engines, which enable a maximum speed of 1,047 km/h (Mach 0.86). It weighs up to 219,600 kilograms (as several tanks) during the takeoff and can fly up to a height of 15,000 meters. About 85 B-52 bombers are in use today, and more than 600 of them have been scrapped.