50 years ago a B-52 lost its tail over New Mexico. But managed to land.

Jan 11 2014 - 3 Comments

On Jan. 10, 1964, a B-52H flown by Boeing civilian test pilot Chuck Fisher and his three man crew lost its tail at about 14,000 ft over northern New Mexico’s Sangre de Christo Mountains.

The aircraft was involved in a test mission whose purpose was to shake, rattle and roll the Stratofortress bomber at high speed and low altitude to record sensor data on how such a profile could affected the plane’s airframe.

The crew did their job: the vertical stabilizer detached from the B-52.

Six hours later, with support from the ground, Fisher successfully performed the first and only Stratofortress‘s tailless landing!

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

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