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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.


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


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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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.