The following photo shows a B-52H Stratofortress from the 96th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., generating a rainbow-colored condensation cloud on take off on a training flight, on Apr 18.
I found it a bit funny that the most famous nuclear bomber in the U.S. Air Force inventory created one of the most easily recognizable peace sign.
However, it must be said that its mission has changed in half a century: from a nuclear role of strategic deterrence, the B-52 is currently used for a wide variety of conventional missions ranging from the BAI (Battlefield Area Interdiction) to CAS (Close Air Support), to TASMO (Tactical Air Support to Maritime Operations) using GPS and Laser-guided bombs, cruise missiles and aerial mines.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force
The long-range, heavy bomber, designed during the Cold War, will keep flying through 2040 although the Air Force’s youngest B-52, Tail No. 1040, the last of 744 Stratofortress planes to be manufactured and delivered to the USAF in 1962, will hit an important milestone this year, when it turns 50 years old.
- Lockheed Martin’s picture of the final F-22 Raptor. Taken with a (costly) Hasselblad H4D super-high definition camera. (theaviationist.com)
- B-1s and F-22s involved in a long range strike exercise. Getting ready for North Korea or Iran? (theaviationist.com)
- Exclusive: What nobody else will tell you about the U.S. F-22 stealth fighters deployed near Iran (theaviationist.com)
- B-2 stealth bomber to get 2 billion dollar upgrades. Including a new email system. (theaviationist.com)
- Low level flying in the age of stealth bombers and standoff weapons: welcome to the famous “Mach Loop” (theaviationist.com)
- New B-52 Low Flyby Photo Demonstrates That Bomber Pilots Are Absolutely Nuts Too [Planelopnik] (jalopnik.com)
…brings new meaning to the phrase “Taste the Rainbow!”