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.


This aircraft was first delivered to Homestead AFB, Florida.  She went to Michigan during the Cuba crisis, where she and 47 other B52's were loaded and engines running for several hours. That was a scarry day!!


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