B-52

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic jet strategic bomber flown by the United States Air Force (USAF) since 1955.

The B-52 replaced the Convair B-36 and the Boeing B-47. Built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War era deterrence missions, it has dropped only conventional munitions in actual combat. The aircraft has the longest unrefuelled range of any bomber and carries up to 70,000 pounds of weapons.

The USAF has had B-52s in active service since 1955 with the Strategic Air Command which was absorbed into the Air Combat Command in 1991. Its superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept the B-52 in service despite proposals to replace it with the Mach 3 XB-70 Valkyrie, supersonic B-1B Lancer, and stealth B-2 Spirit. In January 2005, it became the second aircraft, after the English Electric Canberra, to mark 50 years of continuous service with its original primary operator...

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