The six B-52 bombers deployed to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean are on standby for possible action in Iran, according to Fox News. Most likely, the B-52’s were sent there as a deterrent to further escalation of tensions with Iran.
The B-52 crews are awaiting possible marching orders to the Persian Gulf.
B-52s to Diego Garcia, a base close to Iran
The B-52 bombers were spotted departing Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. Diego Garcia is located 2,300 miles south of the southern border of Iran.
Diego Garcia is the largest island in the Indian Ocean Chagos archipelago. The base has been a major U.S. military base since it was leased from the U.K. in 1966.
The U.S. B-52 Stratofortress Bomber
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, nicknamed “the Buff” has been flown by the USAF since its maiden flight in 1952. The jet is an American long-range subsonic, strategic bomber. Built to carry nuclear bombs the plane has eight engines. Today’s B-52s are B-52H model airplanes.
The B-52s were produced between 1952 and 1962. A total of 744 B-52s were built, with many still flying in active service for the USAF and NASA. Several B-52s were shot down or crashed during the Vietnam War.
Life as a B-52 pilot
The military B-52 pilots and crews endure long missions, staying in the air for a very long time, enabled by aerial refueling.
The plane’s entry is through a small hatch in the airplane belly, which takes the crewmember up a ladder. The only windows you find are in the cockpit. To get to the cockpit you have to get through a narrow corridor.
The cockpit is a mix of old and new technology, but with several instrument upgrades.
Why is the B-52 nicknamed the BUFF?
When the B-52 replaced the Convair B-36 some military personnel felt the plane looked ugly. Then, in a true pilot-humor fashion of the times, many pilots started calling the plane the BUFF, in place of the official name “Stratofortress”.
The BUFF is still the commonly referred name for the B-52. But, what does BUFF stand for?
Big Ugly Fat F*****/Fella!
U.S. Air Force B-52 joke
Because of the wide throttle quadrant of the eight engines (one throttle per engine), in order to get each engine to spool up evenly during takeoff, there is a pilot-joke about the throttles of the B-52.
The joke is, that pilots need help getting the engines spooled up evenly to takeoff thrust. The pilots would simply solicit the help of the other (nonpilot) crewmembers for takeoff by yelling out:
“Everyone come on up to the cockpit and grab a throttle!”
Featured Image: B-52. Photo: USAF.
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How many B-52s bombers were built?
744 B-52 Stratofortresses were built between 1952 and 1962.
When was the B-52 Stratofortress bomber built?
The Boeing B-52s Stratofortress bombers were built between 1952 and 1962, and put into full service in February of 1955. The B-52 maiden flight took place in 1952.
Where are B-52s based?
According to public information from the USAF, there are two USAF B-52H bases, divided into 7 squadrons:
*BASE 1: Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana:
2nd Bomb Wing consists of 3 squadrons:
1. 11th Bomb Wing Squadron.
2. 20th Bomb Wing Squadron.
3. 96th Bomb Wing Squadron.
307th Bomb Wing consists of 2 squadrons:
4. 93rd Bomb Squadron.
5. 343rd Bomb Squadron.
*BASE 2: Minot, North Dakota:
5th Bomb Wing consists of 2 squadrons:
6. 23rd Bomb Squadron.
7. 69th Bomb Squadron.
How many engines does the B-52 Stratofortress have?
The Boeing B-52 has eight TF33 engines.