BOEING B-52 STRATOFORTRESS

B-52 SERVICE

Manufacturer:  The Boeing Airplane Co., Seattle, Washington, USA
(In 1961, became The Boeing Co.)
Model: Boeing Model 464
Designations: B-52; R-16
Name:  Stratofortress
First official flight: (YB-52) 15/04/1952
Factory production period: 1951 - 1962
Primary service period: 1954 - present
Last official flight: Still in service

B-52 VARIANTS

1952 Model 464-67 XB-52

1

 
1952 Model 464-67  YB-52

1

Total: 002

         
1954 Model 464-201-0 B-52A

3

 
1955  Model 464-201-3 B-52B

50

 
1956 Model 464-201-6 B-52C

35

 
1956 Model 464-201-7 B-52D

170

 
1957 Model 464-259-7 B-52E

100

 
1958 Model 464-260 B-52F

89

Total: 447

         
1958 Model 464-253 B-52G

193

 
1961 Model 464-261 B-52H

102

Total: 295

Grand Total: 744


The multitude of throttle levers in the B-52G front office which
controls the eight 13,750lbs thrust J57-P-43WB turbojet engines.
Darwin, Australia, 2000.

B-52 PRODUCTION

XB-52
Prototype strategic heavy bomber, tandem cockpit,
8 engines, tall tail.
Produced 1952

Boeing Seattle, Washington (BO)

49-230 16248

1

Total: 001

YB-52
Service test model, tandem cockpit, tail gun.
Produced 1952

Boeing Seattle, Washington (BO)

49-231  16249

1

Total: 001

B-52A
As YB-52, redesigned cockpit, underwing tanks, refuelling
receptacle, cross-wind undercarriage, engine upgrade.
Produced 1954

Boeing Seattle, Washington (BO)

52-001 / 52-003 16491 / 16493

3

Total: 003

B-52B
As B-52A, engine upgrade, increased weights.
Produced 1955 - 1956

Boeing Seattle, Washington (BO)

53-373 / 53-376 16852 / 16855    
53-380 / 53-398 16859 / 16877

23

 

RB-52B
As B-52B, removable bombay reconn. pod, tail cannon.
Original designation was XR-16.

52-004 / 52-013 16494 / 16503    
52-8710 / 52-8716 16838 / 16844    
53-366 / 53-372 16845 / 16851    
53-377 / 53-379 16856 / 16858

27

Total: 050

B-52C
As B-52B, modified water-injection, larger underwing tanks.
Produced 1955 - 1956

Boeing Seattle, Washington (BO)

53-399 / 53-408  16878 / 16887    
54-2664 / 54-2688 17159 / 17183

35

Total: 035

B-52D
As B-52C, provision for reconn. pod removed.
Produced 1955 - 1957

Boeing Seattle, Washington (BO)

55-068 / 55-117 17184 / 17233    
56-580 / 56-630 17263 / 17313

101

 

Boeing Wichita, Kansas (BW)

55-049 / 55-067  464001 / 464019    
55-673 / 55-680 464020 / 464027    
56-657 / 56-698 464028 / 464069

69

Total: 170

B-52E
As B-52D, improved electronic systems.
Produced 1957 - 1958

Boeing Seattle, Washington (BO)

56-631 / 56-656 17314 / 17339    
57-014 / 57-029 17408 / 17423 

42

 

Boeing Wichita, Kansas (BW)

56-699 / 56-712 464070 / 464083    
57-095 / 57-138 464084 / 464127

58

Total: 100

B-52F
As B-52E, engine upgrade, equipment changes.
Produced 1958 - 1959

Boeing Seattle, Washington (BO)

57-030 / 57-073 17424 / 17467

44

 
21 additional airframes cancelled.

Boeing Wichita, Kansas (BW)

57-139 / 57-183 464128 / 464172

45

Total: 089

45 additional airframes cancelled.


The B-52G featured four remote controlled .50 calibre machine guns,
these were later replaced by a 20mm rotary cannon on the B-52H.
Darwin, Australia, 2000.

B-52G
As B-52F, redesigned nose, shorter tail, unmanned tail gun,
smaller underwing tanks, various changes. Many redesignated as
B-52G Phase IV in 1964 with ECM avionics in extended aft section.

Produced 1958 - 1961
Boeing Wichita, Kansas (BW)

57-6468 / 57-6520 464173 / 464225    
58-0158 / 58-0258 464226 / 464326    
59-2564 / 59-2602 464327 / 464365

193

Total: 193

8 additional airframes cancelled.


B-52G-120-BW, s/n: 59-2596, is preserved at the Australian Aviation Heritage
Center as a complete airframe with only the engines and certain avionics
removed before being handed over to the museum.
Darwin, Australia, 2000.

B-52H
As B-52G, turbofan engine upgrade, tail rotary cannon,
internal and avionics upgrade. Many redesignated as
B-52H Phase IV in 1964 with ECM avionics in extended aft section.
Produced 1960 - 1962

Boeing Wichita, Kansas (BW)

60-0001 / 60-0062 464366 / 464427    
61-0001 / 61-0040 464428 / 464467

102

Total: 102

 

Grand Total: 744

B-52 CONVERSIONS

USAF

NB-52A

1

B-52A(52-003), 1958-1968, NASA "Mothership" for X-15 project.
GB-52B

3

B/RB-52B's used for ground instructional duties.
NB-52B

1

RB-52B(52-008), 1958-2005, NASA "Mothership" for X-15 project. 
Retained by NASA as a test-bed aircraft logging over 1000 missions.
JB-52C

2

B-52C, test-bed aircraft - helped in development of ECM. 
RB-52C

1+

B-52C, reconn. configured "C" variants.
GB-52D

7

B-52D, ground instructional duties.
JB-52D

1

B-52D, test-bed aircraft for Special Weapons Center. 
(NB-52D)

1+ 

Redesignation of JB-52D plus other airframes.
GB-52E

2

B-52E, ground instructional duties.
NB-52E

2

B-52E, test-bed aircraft for research duties. One aircraft used as
engine test-bed for C-5 Galaxy in 1968.
GB-52F

3

B-52F, ground instructional duties.
GB-52G

3

B-52G, ground instructional duties.
JB-52G

6+

B-52G, temporary designation for research duties.
XB-52G

1

B-52A, test-bed aircraft for "G" variant features.
JB-52H

5+

B-52H, temporary designation for research duties.
NB-52H

1

B-52H(61-0025), 2002-2008, NASA "Mothership" for research duties.
YB-52H

1

B-52G, temporary conversion to test "H" variant engines.

B-52 Upgrades
 Many B-52D/E/F/G's were upgraded over their service life with new armament
 avionics and navigation equipment.
 B-52H's in current service continue to be upgraded under life preserving
 programmes along with avionics upgrades as they become available.

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