Battleland

Half-Century Young

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Boeing photo

This final B-52, tail number 61-040, was delivered to the Air Force on Oct. 26, 1962, from the Boeing plant in Wichita, Kan.

You’ve heard Air Force types say for years how their B-52 Stratofortress pilots are flying aircraft older than they are.

That’s nothing. B-52 builder Boeing said last week that the youngest BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fellow) delivered to the Air Force has just turned 50 years old.

That’s right: the entire fleet of 76 B-52s is now eligible for AARP – aka the Air Force Association of Really Old Planes – membership.

B-52s are now expected to keep flying until at least 2040, when the plane will mark 85 years of service.

That newest B-52 remains on active duty at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. An Air Force paparazzi got this snapshot of her on Guam recently.

Air Force photo

The Air Force’s youngest B-52, pictured here, just turned 50.

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