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B52 Stratofortress

B52 Stratofortress

B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. It has been operated by the United States Air Force  since the 1950s. The bomber is capable of carrying up to 70,000 pounds of weapons, and has a typical combat range of more than 8,800 miles without aerial refueling. Beginning with the successful contract bid in June 1946, the B-52 design evolved from a straight wing aircraft powered by six turboprop engines to the final prototype YB-52 with eight turbojet engines and swept wings. The B-52 took its maiden flight in April 1952. Built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War era deterrence missions, the B-52 Stratofortress replaced the Convair B-36. A veteran of several wars, the B-52 has dropped only conventional munitions in combat. The B-52 has been in active service with the USAF since 1955. As of December 2015, 58 were in active service with 18 in reserve. The bombers flew under the Strategic Air Command until it was disestablished in 1992 and its aircraft absorbed into the Air Combat Command; in 2010 all B-52 Stratofortresses were transferred from the ACC to the newly created Air Force Global Strike Command. Superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept the B-52 in service despite the advent of later, more advanced aircraft, including the canceled Mach3 B-70 Valkyrie, the variable-geometry B-1 Lancer, and the stealth B-2 Spirit. The B-52 completed sixty years of continuous service with its original operator in 2015. After being upgraded between 2013 and 2015, it is expected to serve into the 2040s. The B-52s are expected to reach the end of their service lives by 2045, and be replaced by B-21 Raiders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Erin Babis)

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Swamp Creature Boeing Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

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Boeing Looks in the Mirror Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

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FILE - In this April 6, 2017, file photo, members of the White House press corps board Air Force One before the arrival of President Donald Trump at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The Air Force, which has been looking for ways to lower the cost of new planes for Air Force One, confirmed on Tuesday, Aug. 1, that it is talking to Boeing about buying two jumbo jets that were ordered but never delivered to a now-defunct Russian airline. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

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The U.S. Missile Defense Agency will take greater control of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missile system from Boeing at the end of this year, according a spokesman. This is a major shift in oversight. (Department of Defense)

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ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY JULY 9 AND THEREAFTER - In a Monday, July 3, 2017 photo, stunt pilot Vicky Benzing flys her 1940 Boeing Stearman biplane low along the Fox Island shore. From reaching speeds of nearly 470 miles per hour in a jet to skydiving or performing aerobatics, Benzing is at home in the sky. (Peter Haley/The News Tribune via AP)

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Walter Northcutt walks along Boeing Drive as he checks on his neighbors efforts to keep floodwater from Meramec River out of their homes on Thursday, May 4, 2017. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

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Luke Donald hits out of the pine straw along No. 9 fairway during the first round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. Luke ended up the leader of the morning rounds at 6-under-par. (Jay Karr /The Island Packet via AP)

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Luke Donald, left, and Ernie Els share a moment as they wait to putt on No. 7 during the first round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. (Jay Karr /The Island Packet via AP)

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Luke Donald chips onto No. 7 during the first round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. Donald took the morning lead at the tournament at 6-under-par. (Jay Karr /The Island Packet via AP)

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Bud Cauley tees off on No. 17 during the first round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. Cauley ended his round in sole possession of the tournament lead at 8-under-par. (Jay Karr /The Island Packet via AP)

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President Donald Trump talks with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg upon his arrival on Air Force One at Charleston International Airport in North Charleston, S.C., Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ** FILE **

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Boeing employees leave work during a shift change on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in North Charleston, S.C. Thousands of production workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant are deciding whether they want to unionize, writing the next chapter in efforts to organize labor in large manufacturing plants across the South. The first round of voting began early Wednesday. (Wade Spees/The Post And Courier via AP)

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FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 file photo, An engine and part of a wing from the 100th 787 Dreamliner to be built at Boeing of South Carolina's North Charleston, S.C., facility are seen outside the plant. The morning round of voting has concluded Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, among South Carolina Boeing workers considering if they want representation by a union. Nearly 3,000 production workers are eligible to vote in the election to determine if they'll be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. (Brad Nettles/The Post and Courier via AP, File)

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Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, center, departs after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg speaks to members of the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg speaks to members of the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg speaks to members of the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson gave her "personal commitment" to driving down the price of the F-35 fighter jet after President-elect Donald Trump tweeted about going to competitor Boeing. (Associated Press)

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Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg speaks to members of the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)