Battleland

Still BUFF at 50!

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The B-52H of 1961



The B-52H — the last series of the Stratofortress still flying — turns 50 this month. More than 70 of the behemoth bombers continue to fly. “Half a century ago, no one would think this aircraft would be where it is today,” said Maj. Chris Otis, 20th Bomb Squadron assistant operations director at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. “It is a true testament to this airframe.” The Air Force continues updating the plane, affectionately known as BUFF — for Big Ugly Fat Fellow(close enough) until 2040. Who knows: with a little luck, it could fly for a century.

The B-52H of 2011 / Air Force photo by Robert J. Horstman

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