Amazing footage with radio comms shows the BUFFs landing at RAF Fairford for Bomber Task Force 22-2.
As already reported in detail, four U.S. Air Force B-52H strategic bombers deployed to Europe on Feb. 10, 2022. The Stratofortresses, belonging to the 5th Bomb Wing, from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, were moved to the UK as part of a long-planned BTF (Bomber Task Force) rotation, dubbed BTF 22-2.
HATE14 (61-0039) was a direct flight and landed at 11.30AM local time at RAF Fairford. HATE 11/12/13 refuelled in AR-20 with ABBOT 71 flight on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. before continuing on to bombing ranges in the UK. ABBOT71 flight was reported to be a mix of KC-135s and a KC-46.
HATE11 (61-0003) and HATE13 (60-0044) conducted bombing practice on Tain range in North West Scotland before splitting into singles for their transition to RAF Fairford. HATE13 landed at 14.05 and HATE11 at 15.15LT.
HATE12 (61-0018) went to the Holbeach Air Weapons Range to the east of England and conduced bombing practice for around 2 hours. This aircraft recovered to RAF Fairford at 14.57.
Fortunately, our friend Ben Ramsay at UK Aviation Movies was at the base in in Gloucestershire and filmed the BUFFs as they landed there. Take a look at the amount of people who gathered on the final of RWY27 to catch the arrival of the bombers.
The cool video he produced also contains radio comms from the HATE flights. The close up views are pretty impressive.
The 4K version of the footage allows you to notice some interesting details, including icing. “Whilst icing is normal to see on B-52s, the first two aircraft have significant icing under the wings”, Ben pointed out in an email he sent us.
We did quite a bit of ‘cold soak’ testing during the F/T 50-50 fuel certification with the B-52. The jet would come back with 3/4 of an inch of frost under the wings and on the tip tanks!