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How to Fly a B-52 Stratofortress Bomber

Despite their age—they have been flying since the 1950s—the B-52 Stratofortress is still the backbone of the US Air Force's strategic bombing force. These jet-powered beasts can deliver up to 70,000 pounds of weapons to any target around the globe. That includes nuclear weapons, of course.

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This video shows an entire training mission, from pre-flight checks to aerial refueling. It even includes one of those crazy low pass flybys.

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This B-52 belongs to the 96th Bomb Squadron, taking off from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, on April 18, 2012.

U.S. Air Force video by TSgt. Rebecca Zannetti

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DISCUSSION

Wow, its shocking how worn down they are, and those flight controls are ancient. I mean yeah the planes are 6 decades old, I get that, but I would have expected them to retrofit the cockpit with some modern controls and telemetry. I know theyve done it for other planes, I figure they would do the same for the B52.