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December 02, 2017


Afaik, the TU-95 Bear was first flown also in 1952 like the B52 and entered service in 1955.
Both really old warbirds, older than their crews ;-)

I look at pictures before I look at text. I figured that the pictures were stock photos from somewhere until I saw HH. You got a really clear scan of that picture!

Stu--Of course! How could I have ignored the Bear in writing "unheard of". Wikipedia says that the Bear entered service in 1956; but, I can't prove either of you wrong so I'll go with your 1955. While I'm at it, I should make it clear that it is the B-52H models that are still in service. From B-52 Fact Sheet , "The B-52A first flew in 1954, and the B model entered service in 1955. A total of 744 B-52s were built with the last, a B-52H, delivered in October 1962. The first of 102 B-52H's was delivered to Strategic Air Command in May 1961. The H model can carry up to 20 air launched cruise missiles. Dec 16, 2015" I believe that the first B-52H rolled off the line in 1959.

Bogie--Was that a shock? That scan was made on the first scanner I ever had, several years ago. I liked its product and the software made it easy for me to manipulate. Unfortunately, the newer software doesn't have some of the features that I liked. Also, unfortunately, the computer on which that software would run is long gone. Upgrades. Bah-humbug!

P.S. Don't let anyone tell you that BUFF stood for Big Ugly Fat Fucker. The B-52 has never been fat! It's a Big Ugly Flying Fucker. (Oops...I just broke my rule of never, ever using the F word.)

OMG - my mother used a cuss word. Not once, but twice! I will never, ever recover from this! :O

I guess the old saying, they don’t make them like they used to really applies here. Stu beat me to the punch on the Bear. I was thinking that maybe the reason we are still using them is that the Russians are still using something that is even more antiquated so we don’t need something shiny and new. Or because we have plenty of ICBMs and SLBMs that we do not need a new delivery vehicle.

Ingineer--It tickles me (in a gruesome sort of way, I guess) thinking of using the B-52 to provide close air support. As to the TU-95 being more antiquated than the B-52: I doubt that is true for the aircraft that are currently flying, although I don't really know. Wikipedia (not infallible) says that the TU-95 was in production until 1993, during which year HH retired. If that is true, some of the flying TU-95s may well be younger than the B-52s that are flying since B-52s went out of production in 1963. Of course, the B-52 has eight pure jet engines while the TU-95 is powered by four turbo-props. As to avionics updates: I know nothing about the TU-95 avionics suite. You would have to get my HH to tell you about the status of B-52 avionics; but, as I wrote above, he was PM on the OAS update - in the 1980s. Surely they've done something(s) more recently.

Lol. I was not thinking of the Bear and The Buff in a dog fight. And it is probably not close to reality. It just struck me as interesting that both nation’s strategic bomber fleets are based on planes that are older than the parents of the crews. I am confident that the US avionics are better than what the Russians have stolen from us. ;-)

Small World. The B52s Computers were Programmed in Jovial, for which I once wrote a Compiler. I evEn met Jules once when we both worked for CSC 😁

Ingineer--Now that's another mental picture to tickle my fancy: Bear/BUFF dogfight!

Stu--You have met a lot of interesting people. Was that in the days of the Hound Dog GAM-77/AGM-28? On more reflection, the 77 was probably a bit before your time. I remember it, but I don't recall what (if anything) I did for/with/on it.

Well didn’t the B-52 did have a tail gunner when it first came out? Sorry to keep your thread going but I am sitting in SMF on a delay after leaving my house at 1:00am to get here early because I was worried about parking on a holiday weekend. Parked closer than I normally do and there were other empty spaces. The captain or first officer is sick. We have a plane and flight attendants.

Ingineer--A plane and flight attendants don't fill the bill, do they? Yes, there was a tail gunner on most B-52s. "The retirement of Chief Master Sgt. Rob Wellbaum is notable since he was the last of the B-52 tail gunners in the Air Force. Most versions of the BUFF had four .50-caliber M3 machine guns – fast-firing versions of the historic Ma Deuce (1,000 rounds per minute, according to GlobalSecurity.org) that were also used on the F-86 Sabre. Two B-52 versions went with different armament options, the B-52B (twin 20mm cannon in some planes) and the B-52H (an M61 Vulcan)." from Decades-Ago

1) MSGT Wellbaum retired last May. Of course, it had been some years since he had served as tail gunner on a B-52.
2) The Vulcan gun had a really distinctive sound to it.

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