Take a look at these interesting images of B-52 Stratofortress bombers, “Wise Guy” and “Ghost Rider,” undergoing PDM at Tinker Air Force Base Oklahoma.
As reported in detail in the last few months, only two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers have been restored out of the “Boneyard”, at the 309th AMARG (Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, to be returned to front-line service: “Ghost Rider”, tail number 61-0007, and “Wise Guy”, tail number 60-0034.
Both aircraft had been retired and put on long term storage, where they were supposed to remain to be cannibalized of parts needed by other B-52Hs.
However, the plans changed and both BUFFs have been resurrected. After being mothballed for seven years in the desert “Ghost Rider” returned to service in 2015 with the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota. The second “Wise Guy”, spent 10 years in the desert before being resurrected late last year.
The two “Lazarus” aircraft were regenerated at the Tinker Air Force Base’s Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, and it’s there that they are currently undergoing PDM (Programmed Depot Maintenance).
PDM is a complex process, that each Stratofortress bomber undergoes every four years. The airframe is stripped off its paint, so maintainers can assess if there are leaks or repairs are needed on the outer skin of the aircraft. Then, the aircraft is almost completely disassembled and each part is inspected and all defects are fixed before they are rebuilt, repainted, carry out several Functional Check Flights before they are sent back to their home stations. The aircraft return to active service as they were almost brand new.
While “Ghost Rider” is currently undergoing routine PDM, “Wise Guy” is undergoing the heavy maintenance as the final part of a three-phase process to resurrect the aircraft and return it to the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, so that the number of B-52 bombers mandated by Congress is brought back to full strength at 76 aircraft.
The two B-52H Stratofortress bombers were parked nose-to-nose at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, on Feb. 26, 2021, and this provided the opportunity to shoot some interesting photos that you can find in this article.